A convenience shop in West London was forced to fork out £8,000 after officers found mice droppings on shelves and in food packaging. Maharajah Food and Wine in Golborne Road faced formal closure earlier this year due to the imminent risk to public health but has since reopened.
Council officers from the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea first visited the premises on May 16, 2023, for a routine inspection and found a mice infestation. The North Kensington business agreed to voluntarily close but two days later the council officers revisited only to find no improvements had been made.
Upon further inspection of the store, officers found mice droppings on shelves, food packaging that had been gnawed by mice and mice droppings inside food packaging. They also discovered dead mice in the shop and noticed poor cleaning throughout the shop floor areas.
A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice was served on the food business operator as there was an “imminent risk to health”. The order was granted by Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 5, 2023, and the business was forced to pay the council’s legal costs of £8,456.
Following a deep clean, pest proofing and visits by a pest control contractor, the business was allowed to reopen after officers revisited on May 19, 2023, and were satisfied it was no longer an imminent risk to the public.
Cllr Josh Rendall, Lead Member for Local Economy and Employment, said: “The vast majority of our businesses maintain high standards but in this case hygiene standards were not met by the business who ignored advice given by our food safety officers putting members of public at risk. Our officers acted and took necessary steps to protect our residents and consumers by ensuring the business was only allowed to recommence once they were safe and complying with the food safety law.”