Posted on: Tuesday 22 January 2019
On Friday 11 January 2019 Rashid Iqbal, director of a company running Premier Stores from 15 Edlogan Square, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, has been successfully prosecuted by Torfaen Council.
District Judge Martin Brown heard that environmental health officers visited the store on the 15 September 2017 and found significant evidence that rats had been active in the two garages to the rear of the shop (which were being used for the storage of food for sale in the shop). As a result, the environmental health officers took immediate action to stop the sale of food that was stored in the garages.
The court heard that the garages were not pest proofed which allowed rats to easily access the garage. As a result, the goods stored in the garages had become contaminated with rat urine and droppings. There was also evidence that rats had chewed through food packaging materials, and had been feeding off foods such as boxes of cornflakes.
The court also heard that while staff at the store had telephoned pest control companies due to the rodent activity, there were no pre-existing procedures in place to control pests.
Rashid Iqbal was found guilty of each of the 3 charges brought against him. He was fined £2250 for his failure to protect food from a risk of contamination and £1000 each for failing to ensure the garages were pest proofed and failing to put in place procedures to control pests. The Court awarded the Council its full costs of £2635.05 and imposed a victim surcharge of £130. The total amount Rashid Iqbal must pay is £7015.05.
Commenting on the case Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment said: “The owner of the Premier Stores failed his legal duty to make sure that food was stored under hygienic conditions. As a result, customers of the shop were potentially exposed to rat urine and droppings along with the diseases that rats are known to spread. I am pleased the court has acknowledged these failures and the associated risks, and found Rashid Iqbal guilty.”