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Mouse droppings found in Costcutter food store
BOSSES at a supermarket in Bridgwater which was found covered in mouse droppings say steps have been taken to ensure the breach of hygiene never happens again.
Environmental health officials from Sedgemoor District Council found the droppings at Costcutter in Wye Avenue – where food was being prepared – during an inspection.
This week, bosses at Costcutter said the store, which is run by franchisees, had changed hands since the droppings were discovered and that the new owner was ‘committed’ to providing a ‘high-quality store’.
The pledge came after bosses at Costcutter were hit with almost £10,000 in fines and costs after appearing in court last week to admit five breaches of food hygiene regulations.
Speaking after the case, council food safety chief Sarah Dowden, said: “Costcutter breached regulations and failed to take seriously the responsibility they have to provide the public with food that is safe to eat.
“We want to work with businesses to ensure regulations are complied with but where appropriate we will take court action to ensure the safety of the public.”
On Wednesday, Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court head how council officials found the store had inadequate facilities for staff to wash their hands or equipment during the visit in October 2012.
Officers also found there were no written policies on cleaning, temperature control, stock control, hand washing or training and the lack of such policies “contributed to the serious failures in food safety” found.
Costcutter pleaded guilty to five offences under the 2006 Food Hygiene (England) Regulations.
The court heard the operators of the store were offered support and given several opportunities to comply with a Legal Notice to improve but failed to do so until January 2013.
The company was fined £1,500 for each of five offences, totalling £7,500, plus full costs of £2,367.80 and a £120 victim surcharge. The total amount was £9,987.80.
A spokesman for Costcutter said: “The store in question has since been sold and the new owner is committed to developing a high quality store.
“Consistency of standards among the independent retailers who run the vast majority of our stores is a priority for the business and we are committed to working with our members to help them deliver quality stores.”