Food warehouse in Northfields, Leicester, shut as mice and rats found
A food storage warehouse has been temporarily shut down after inspectors found infestations of rats and mice.
AKM Foods, in Frisby Road, Northfields, Leicester, which supplies a wide variety of Asian food products, was closed by the city council's environmental health team following a routine inspection last week.
Inspectors found mouse and rat droppings throughout the premises.
During a hearing at Leicester Magistrates' Court on Monday, company director Ashfaq Amanulah requested to be allowed to reopen the business.
Cheap Motor Insurance for Convicted Drivers with Insure365 - Call...View details
Cheap Motor Insurance for Convicted Drivers with Insure365 - Call 01782 898188, Free Legal Expenses Cover Included valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Sunday, June 23 2013
He told the court he had been working 14 hours a day with his employees to clean the warehouse, trap the rodents and close the holes allowing them to enter the building.
However, he admitted that there were still rodents in the building. Magistrates ordered the business should stay shut and Mr Amanulah should pay £826 costs to the council.
The court heard the infestation was uncovered during an inspection of the company by environmental health officer Claire Douglas on January 31.
Shilpa Thakrer, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said: "Mrs Douglas was at the premises at 10.30am for a routine inspection. She began to note there were some mouse droppings on the premises.
"Droppings were on boxes, jars and pallets. Cardboard boxes had been gnawed and there was an open box of marshmallows and jars with droppings in.
"There were gaps in the premises where it's evident rats had made their way in. There were rat droppings throughout. Little pest control treatment was on display."
On Monday morning, before the court hearing, Mrs Douglas and a colleague returned to the warehouse.
They found that, while some cleaning had been done, there were still areas where pallets of stock had not been moved to be cleaned underneath.
Fresh droppings were found but no animals had been successfully trapped or killed.
They found Mr Amanulah had also rejected their advice to hire a pest control company. He told the court it was too expensive.
Mrs Douglas told the court: "Lots of cleaning had been done and lots of damaged stock had been removed. However, we did find several trays of bait that had been disturbed and new mouse droppings.
"There are still mice and they are still causing contamination."
Mr Amanulah, who was not legally represented, told the court: "On Thursday, the state of the building was bad but I've been working day in and day out and done all I can.
"I accept there is still an area that hasn't been cleaned and there is still a little mouse activity.
"Pest control guys want too much money and it's not affordable.
"The business is hand-to-mouth and I've lost four days' trade. If we don't open again we're finished."
Magistrates ordered that the building stay closed until a new inspection is carried out to verify all the rodents are gone.