Mendlesham: Inspection found mouse droppings at bakery

A BAKERY owner who has been fined after mouse droppings were found at the premises agreed the level of cleanliness there had been “unacceptable”.

Douglas McIntyre, 51, of Mendlesham Bakery in Old Market Street, Mendlesham, admitted failing to have adequate procedures in place to control pests and failing to keep the premises clean at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard how the poor standards had meant there had been “a risk to members of the public purchasing items from the bakery”. There had been the potential for bacteria capable of causing food poisoning to be contaminating food products.

Caroline Watling, prosecuting on behalf of Mid Suffolk District Council, said Sara Proctor, a food safety technical officer, carried out an unannounced routine food inspection of the bakery on March 26 last year.

In the bakery area she found mouse droppings under and inside a large wooden unit which housed baking trays and tins, as well as inside the trays and tins. It also appeared greaseproof paper inside baking tins had been partially eaten away by rodents.

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It seemed the bakery area had not been recently cleaned as there were droppings which seemed to be dried out and covered with dust and there was a layer of dirt and debris around the baking tins.

Following the inspection activity at the bakery was suspended until Mrs Proctor was able to visit again. The court heard how McIntyre, who is a partner in the business, had been advised back in 2009 to employ a professional pest control contractor, but declined and although he did monitor mouse activity for a period monitoring decreased rather than increased.

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McIntyre had decided to treat the premises himself due to the cost of getting a professional in.

However, the court heard following the inspection on March 26 last year, he had employed a professional pest contractor and an inspection on Wednesday found standards were “much improved”.

McIntyre was fined �500 and ordered to pay �500 towards the cost of the prosecution and a �15 victim surcharge. He told the court: “From a professional point of view the cleanliness was unacceptable and I agree with her [Mrs Proctor] entirely.”

He said when the problems arose it had been a bad time emotionally, adding how the area had since been changed so it was easier to clean.

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