A Fylde coast bakery has been fined £12,000 after a routine inspection revealed an unpleasant addition to the menu - a live mouse.
Wyre Council officers also found a large quantity of mouse droppings, some on a cake stand and some just centimetres away from some freshly prepared dough.
The director of the firm, 43 year old Daniel Fish of the Lawns Bakery on Manor Road in Fleetwood admitted nine offences brought under Food Hygiene legislation in a prosecution by Wyre Council.
He operates the bakery and the Dancing Fish outside catering company.
He was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £1,320 costs and £170 victim’s surcharge by Blackpool Magistrates.
He must pay the fine and costs at a rate of £260 a week magistrates ordered.
Chairman of the bench Brian Horrocks told Fish:”This was a disgraceful catalogue of events.
“The public need to know that their food is prepared to a high standard.”
“Not only were the records you kept, shall we say, not accurate but it beggars belief that the amount of mouse droppings which were found came from one animal.”
Prosecutor Mary Grimshaw said Fish had received a previous caution over the state of his premises.
She said that when Wyre Council environment officers made a routine call to the premises in January this year they were astonished to see a live mouse on the floor.
She said mouse droppings were found in several rooms.There were holes in the walls and skirting boards and paint was flaking from the ceilings.
Mrs Grimshaw said: “Mr Fish voluntarily agreed to closed the premises.
“They underwent a deep clean and were allowed to re-open the following day.
“Mice and their droppings are a danger to public health as they carry diseases such as crypto speridium and salmonella.”
“The structural state of the premises was in a poor state and there were several entry points for infestation.”
“The inside of a microwave was dirty and a light switch was dirty and cracked.
“There was also broken pipe work.”
“There were mice droppings on a cake stand and next to dough posing a serious risk to health.”
“Records kept by Mr Fish said that work had been done which clearly had not.”
When formally interviewed Fish said that he had perhaps got lazy after Christmas and allowed things to drift.
Defending himself he said that fly tipping in a nearby alleyway had added to the problem.
He bought the premises in 2015 when the premises had four stars .
The bakery and outside catering business had a combined turnover of £240,000 a year but his last accounts revealed a loss of £1,900.
He sad he had invested over £20,000 of his own money trying to improve the premises which he had now put up for sale.
Councillor Vivien Taylor, health and community engagement portfolio holder at Wyre Council, said: “Wyre Council takes food hygiene very seriously and if premises don’t comply I can assure you we will take action whenever and wherever necessary.”
All food businesses such as restaurants, take away premises, shops or mobile food vehicles are visited and inspected by Wyre Council.
After each inspection businesses who sell food directly to the public are awarded a food hygiene rating.
Last year (2016/17), of a total of 1,116 in the borough, 93% were broadly compliant with food safety and hygiene regulations.
Poeple can check the food hygiene ratings of every food business in Wyre at ratings.food.gov.uk.