Mouse ran over customer's foot, court hears
Jimmy Spices restaurant in Wimbledon has been fined £10,000 after a mouse ran over a customer's foot during a lunchtime meal.
East and West Restaurants Ltd who own the restaurant (right) which is on The Broadway, admitted five offences under the food hygiene regulations when they appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates Court.
The court heard Merton council's environmental health officers visited the restaurant on the evening of March 18 in response to a complaint received from a member of the public who was alarmed when a mouse ran over his foot.
A thorough inspection was carried out and a serious mouse infestation was found to be affecting the two food storerooms located on the first floor.
Mouse droppings were found throughout the storerooms and large quantities of food had been contaminated by the mice gnawing and urinating over the packaging.
The situation was so bad that the storerooms had to be closed on the spot and were not allowed to re-open until improved pest control measures had been put in place, the contaminated food had been destroyed and the premises cleaned and disinfected.
When they appeared before the court on December 21, the company accepted full responsibility for the conditions found and said they now have a new pest control contractor who carries out regular checks on all parts of the premises.
They also confirmed that all necessary pest proofing work has now been carried out and the staff have been retrained in food hygiene to prevent any repetition of such an incident.
They were also ordered to pay the full council costs of £1,530 plus a victim surcharge of £15.
Councillor Andrew Judge, Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration said afterwards: "Our environmental health officers do their utmost to work with food businesses and restaurants to avoid closure where possible.
"However, we have an absolute duty to our residents to put their needs first and we will not tolerate standards anything less than excellent when it comes to the public's health.
"We will continue to ensure that even in these difficult financial times, if restaurants and takeaways want to stay open in Merton, they will have to meet the highest hygiene standards."
January 4, 2011