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Mouse infestation found in city bakery’s flour store room

Dirty walls, mould and wide spread infestation of mice. This is what was found at Allen's Bakery in Roath when a routine inspection was carried by Shared Regulatory Services on October 31st, 2018.

December 9th, 2019

What was found during this inspection led to a voluntary agreement to close the business, as there were widespread mouse Allens Bakery Dec 2019droppings on the walls, floor, on wooden pallets and on the outside of flour bags in the store room of the property. Pleading guilty to 15 food hygiene offences at Cardiff Magistrates' Court, John George Allen, 61, from Hillside Court, Penylan, was ordered to pay over £3,000 on Thursday, December 5.

Allen's Bakery produces and sells freshly baked products, including loaves of bread and rolls to approximately 20 businesses in Cardiff, as well as selling pasties, sausage rolls and cakes directly to customers from the business.

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: "Historically this business has received poor food hygiene ratings going back as far as 2016, when the food hygiene rating was 2, meaning that ‘improvement was necessary'.

"When the business was re-inspected at the end of 2017, there was a lack of progress on the works which needed to be carried out and the food hygiene rating fell to 1. At that stage, the issues relating mainly to the lack of cleanliness in the bakery itself."

When the un-announced visit took place on October 31 last year and widespread mouse droppings were found in the store room, the investigating officer was satisfied that there was a real risk of contamination to the food that was being produced and the business was closed.

Mice carry fleas, mites and ticks as well as bacteria and viruses that can kill - including Salmonella, E.coli, Cryptosporidium and bacteria that can cause tuberculosis.

Following the unannounced visit, Mr Allen called a pest control company and was advised that the mice were getting into the storeroom via a damaged skirting board through a cavity wall.

Following a further visit on November 6, the officer was still not satisfied with the levels of cleanliness at the business and although written procedures were in place, it was clear that the end of shift cleansing tasks were not being carried out. Further contact was then made with Mr Allen to re-inspect the business on November 28, 2018. The structural works to the store room had been completed and the room had been emptied and thoroughly cleaned. Commercial cleaning contractors had undertaken a deep clean throughout the bakery and the walls has been re-painted with mould resistant paint.

A new food hygiene rating of 3 was given as the business was deemed as ‘generally satisfactory'. When Mr Allen attended Cardiff Magistrates' Court on December 5 and entered guilty pleas to 15 offences, he was fined £2,500, ordered to pay costs of £460, as well as a victim surcharge of £120.