The owner of a Chinese takeaway in Liverpool has had to pay more than £6,000 after pleading guilty to 20 breaches of food and safety hygiene regulations.
Keihan Nikseresht Somehsaraei, director of Kensington Takeaway, was fined £5,200, plus costs of £750 and £190 victim surcharge in a case that was heard at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
During an inspection in August 2021, Liverpool City Council Environmental Health officers discovered a mouse infestation and inadequate pest control measures in place.
There were mouse droppings throughout the premises, including on food preparation equipment and on food packaging.
There was also a lack of regular and effective cleaning protocols, resulting in a build-up of food debris and grease, and a number of holes were discovered which provided rodents with access.
The conditions were so unhygienic that the takeaway was immediately instructed to close as it was considered “an imminent risk to health” as mice are known carriers of bacteria which can cause serious illness.
Another inspection took place in March 2022, and again, mouse droppings were evident, regular cleaning was not taking place and there were still some gaps and holes which were acting as entry points for mice.
The premises was closed to the public once again while improvement works took place. The takeaway reopened in April 2022 following another assessment by officers.
In sentencing, District Judge Boswell said the conditions posed a serious risk to the health of the customer and “common sense tells you that the premises were unacceptable”.
Kensington Takeaway is no longer operational. The premises are now under the management of a new food business operator.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, lead cabinet member for the Neighbourhoods portfolio, said: “It is unacceptable to operate a business in this manner and we simply won’t tolerate it.
“This case sends out a strong message to food outlets across the city – don’t be complacent. Our team doesn’t just carry out one-off visits, they will come back to inspect any premises to check the appropriate standards are being maintained, and if they’re not, action will be taken.”