A former fish and chip shop owner has been prosecuted and banned from managing a food business after a dead mouse and droppings were found at the premises. Food past its use by date was also discovered at Poole's Plaice in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
Jane Silvester, of Edward Street, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, ran the chippy in The Twitchell, in 2021, at the time of the offences. The business is now being operated under a new name and has new owners.
Ashfield District Council’s environmental health team visited on May 13, 2021, after receiving complaints of poor hygiene at the takeaway. Several serious food safety violations were found during the visit including a lack of food safety management system, food past its use-by date, food stored at the wrong temperature, and a mouse infestation.
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Mouse droppings were found throughout the premises and on shelves, on napkins, underneath preparation tables, inside containers holding cutlery and food equipment, next to food items, and above work surfaces. Various mouse traps were found throughout the premises and a dead mouse was found trapped in a wall, indicating Silvester was aware of the problem.
The conditions found posed an imminent risk to public health and Silvester agreed to an immediate voluntary closure of the premises. The case was initially set for a hearing at Mansfield Magistrates Court on June 30, 2022, however, Silvester failed to attend and a warrant for her arrest was issued.
Silvester was arrested and on January 24, 2023, the case was heard at Nottingham Magistrates Court where she was convicted of five food safety hygiene offences. She was fined a total of £960 and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £96 and pay £1,000 legal costs.
She was ordered to pay the total amount of £2,056 in 28 days. Silvester was also prohibited from managing a food business in the future.
Cllr John Wilmott, executive lead member for licensing, environmental health and regulatory services, at Ashfield District Council said “The conditions found at the former Poole’s Plaice were atrocious and posed a real danger to public health. This is a fantastic example of the invaluable work that our Environmental Health Teams carry out every day.
"They are the hidden heroes making sure that Ashfield businesses are safe and hygienic.”
Despite the poor hygiene at the chippy, reviews were mostly good around the time of the offences. One customer said: "Delicious! Best chippy I've been to in years, food was tasty, hot and fresh plus fairly-priced."
"This is the best chippy in Sutton. Chips are just like at seaside and fish is thick, chunky and chewy. Never had a bad meal from this chippy, can't rate it enough, everybody needs to try this chippy," said another.
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