Store is fined after admitting hygiene offence

Jempsons 3 SUS-140503-092714001
Jempsons 3 SUS-140503-092714001

The owners of Peasmarsh superstore Jempsons admitted a breach of Food Hygiene Regulations after appearing at Hastings Magistrates Court on February 19.

The appearance followed avisit to the store by health inspectors last year who found mice-doppings in food production and storage areas at the store.

Officers inspecting the site on February 13, 2013 found a defective shutter door in the loading area which was allowing pests into the building. There were also gaps in the wall around unsealed pipework in the delicatessen area where mice had created a run.

Droppings were found in the delicatessen, cake preparation area, the bakery store and a cupboard in the fresh meat counter area,

Tubs of rusk, used in the making of sausages, were found not to have lids on.

Jempsons agreed to close affected areas of the premises voluntarily to deal with the problem. Officers revisited to check for evidence of the infestation and found it to be free from mice three days later.

In court Jempsons offered no evidence for systematic cleaning as no cleaning records had been kept. As well as the fine, they were ordered to pay £932 in costs.

Richard Parker-Harding, Head of Environmental Health, said “I am pleased Magistrates viewed this as a serious offence.

The standard of food hygiene in the district is generally very good but all food businesses need to be constantly vigilant, to prevent rodent infestations occurring, as this represents a hazard to public health.”

A spokesman for Jempsons said this week: “We would like to make it clear that the areas related to were not areas containing open food. It was dealt with as per local authority requirements within 48 hours, and no active infestation was found.

“Upon follow-up visits, the local authority was satisfied the incident had been dealt with very promptly and appropriately. The stores ongoing regime of prevention and its accompanying documentation clearly indicated that measures were in place.

“Jempson’s stores work closely with the local authorities, and their resident pest control expert, to ensure full compliance of food hygiene laws in all their stores.”