Mansfield Store Owner Fined Over RAT Infestation
A Mansfield shop owner has been ordered to pay a total of £3,931 after evidence of a rat infestation was found by Environmental Health officers at his store.
Mansfield District Council prosecuted Sonu Nazran, director of Nazran Stores Ltd in Ravensdale Road, after a member of the public saw a rat in the store and reported it to the council in September 2019.
The shop owner pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates' Court on 9 March 2021 to four offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, namely that he:
- failed to implement adequate procedures to control pests
- failed to implement an effective food safety management system to protect food from risk of contamination
- failed to protect food against contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption or potentially injurious to health
- failed to keep the premises clean and maintained in good repair and condition.
Sonu Nazran was fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £1,750 in costs and a victim surcharge of £181.
Magistrates were told that when council Environmental Health officers visited the shop, they carried out a thorough inspection of the premises for signs of rodent activity and found gnawed biscuit packets around the store and underneath shelving.
Various droppings found suggested more than one rat and rat activity throughout the premises and on foodstuffs. It presented a significant risk to the public which required immediate action.
Despite the health risks, Mr Nazran did not want to close the shop and so the council sought, and was granted by the court, an Emergency Hygiene Prohibition Order to close the premises.
The shop was shut for two weeks for essential cleaning, disinfection, structural repairs and pest proofing to eradicate the rats before being allowed by the council's Environmental Health department to reopen.
The store is now called Ravensdale Convenience Store and is under new ownership.
Cllr Marion Bradshaw, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities, Housing and Wellbeing, said after the hearing: "This was a shocking case and thank goodness a member of the public drew the council's attention to it and we were able to take immediate action to protect people from a serious contamination risk. Rats carry a host of potentially dangerous bacteria that can cause serious illness.
"This case demonstrates the high level of responsibility that store owners have in ensuring their premises are clean and properly protected against rodents.
"The council takes lapses in this responsibility extremely seriously and will always prosecute where necessary."
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