11.1 C
Harrow on the Hill
Thursday, April 25, 2024
HomeNewsSerious rat infestation leads to £66,000 fine for cash and carry director...

Serious rat infestation leads to £66,000 fine for cash and carry director in Hillingdon

A Hillingdon cash and carry has been forced to pay almost £80,000 after being found to have committed a number of hygiene offences.

Asian African Foods Ltd, trading as Krishna Cash & Carry, were convicted at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court of breaching hygiene conditions and causing unnecessary suffering to animals, following a rat infestation.

The council’s food and health and safety team made an unannounced inspection of the Hayes business in June after complaints were made by customers about unhygienic storage of food. During its visit, the team found dirt, food debris, flies and areas of the building that were in a state of such disrepair that rats could enter freely through holes in walls.

Serious rat infestation leads to £66,000 fine for cash and carry director in Hillingdon Harrow Online
Rotting fish, Krishna Cash & Carry, Hayes, Hillingdon. Permission for use by all LDRS partners. Credit: Hillingdon Council

Perhaps the most disturbing discovery that the council made was that of dead or dying rats in areas where food was present. Inspectors told the court they found a dead rat beneath a pallet of rice bags and in the rear stock room.

An emaciated rat was found barely alive while stuck to a glue board, next to another dead rat, indicating the boards were not being checked regularly.

During a follow-up trip the next day, inspectors also discovered a fridge that had no power, which resulted in the disposal of 36kg of decaying and rotten fish. The conditions at the cash and carry were so severe that the business voluntarily chose to close for cleaning and repair work.

The court heard Krishna Cash & Carry had a history of pest infestations with pest control records showing evidence of rats being treated previously in February, March, April (twice) and May of 2022.

Serious rat infestation leads to £66,000 fine for cash and carry director in Hillingdon Harrow Online
Rats found still alive stuck to glue traps at Krishna Cash & Carry, Hayes, Hillingdon. Permission for use by all LDRS partners. Credit: Hillingdon Council

In court, company director Santhirasegaram Ketheeswaran, admitted to five breaches of food hygiene regulations as well as causing unnecessary suffering to rodents and failing to comply with a health and safety improvement notice.

Asian African Foods was fined £60,000, (£12,000 for each breach) with additional fines of £5,000 for the animal welfare offence and  £1,000 for failing to comply with the terms of the health & safety improvement notice.

The company was also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £11,296.75 and told to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said: “While the council is committed to creating a borough where residents feel safe and can live healthy lives, this horrifying case serves to show not everyone has the same duty of care.

Serious rat infestation leads to £66,000 fine for cash and carry director in Hillingdon Harrow Online
Poor storage at Krishna Cash & Carry, Hayes, Hillingdon. Permission for use by all LDRS partners. Credit: Hillingdon Council

“For a business serving the public to willingly allow the conditions to deteriorate to such an extent and then failing to check their method of pest control is difficult to comprehend.

“I thank our food and health and safety team for their diligence in following up residents’ complaints and ensuring this business was quickly brought into line through a strong prosecution and very significant fine.”

×