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Evidence of rodent infestation at Sira cash and carry

Big fines for filthy Southall cash and carry

The owners and manager of a Southall cash and carry have been issued fines totalling more than £27,000 after persistently ignoring demands to improve its hygiene standards.   

Ealing Council’s food safety team told a hearing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court that an inspection of Sira Cash & Carry, at 43 South Road, had resulted in a 0 rating (which means ‘urgent improvement necessary’).

The team also explained how, since 2009, 8 food hygiene inspections had been carried out at Sira. In that time, it has not received a food hygiene rating higher than 2 out of 5 (which means ‘improvement necessary’), with 2 inspections – including the most recent – resulting in a 0 rating.

Rodent droppings next to food

At the most recent inspection, officers encountered very poor standards, with pest activity noted throughout the premises – including rodent droppings on shelving next to food on the shop floor and in the warehouse.

The business was served with a Hygiene Improvement Notice under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 for failing to put in place adequate procedures to control pests. The inspection resulted in a food hygiene rating of 0, and little evidence of improvement was found at a follow-up visit.

Forced to pay out more than £28,000

At the magistrates’ hearing, Streamquote Limited (the business owner) and the manager of the company, Ms Kuljit Chagger, of Thorncliff Road, Southall, were found guilty of food hygiene offences and were ordered to pay more than £28,000. This consisted of fines of £26,400 for Streamquote Limited and £984 for Ms Chagger, and the council’s court costs of £1,610.

The business appealed the magistrates’ sentencing decision on 2 February 2024. The magistrates refused the appeal.

Ealing Council is responsible for ensuring that all food businesses in the borough comply with hygiene regulations. The food safety service also provides advice to local businesses and plays a crucial role in investigating complaints and taking enforcement actions when necessary.

‘Protecting residents and supporting businesses’

Councillor Louise Brett, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes, said: “Rodent infestations in food businesses put people at a very real risk of sickness. I am very pleased that the court recognised the seriousness of these offences, imposed appropriate fines, and refused the appeal.

“Ealing Council’s food safety team will take swift action if a business is not complying with the law. They do a fantastic job protecting residents and supporting businesses to ensure that all food sold in the borough is safe and legal.”

You can search online for a business’s food hygiene rating score.

For more information on food safety in the borough, visit the council website.

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