Thame takeaway fined for mice infestation

Released on November 28, 2016

A Chinese takeaway in Thame has been fined after council officers found mice droppings during a routine food safety inspection.

On Tuesday 22 November at Oxford Magistrates’ Court, Novarra Limited, owners of Tommy Yaki, 84-86 Wellington Street, Thame, pleaded guilty to four food safety offences.  As a result they were fined £2,400 and ordered to pay £1,876 costs. 

Magistrates heard how, during a routine food safety inspection at Tommy Yaki on 21 March 2016, food safety officers from South Oxfordshire District Council found the premises littered with mice droppings and a filthy kitchen. The building also had construction defects that allowed pests to get on the premises, and important cleaning and pest control procedures hadn’t been carried out.

Officers immediately forced the premises to close, the takeaway was given a food hygiene rating of zero meaning “Urgent Improvement Necessary”, and it was prevented from reopening until action had been taken to remove the risk.  

Cllr Tony Harbour, Cabinet member for Waste, Grounds maintenance, Food Safety and Environmental health at South Oxfordshire District Council, said “At the time of the inspection the premises posed a serious health risk to customers and was shut down as a result.

“I hope other food business learn from this example, if you are putting the public at risk we will not hesitate to take action.” 

Council officers revisited the premises a number of times since the enforced closure to ensure that improvements were made, and to assist Novarra Ltd with meeting their food safety requirements. 

Following urgent improvements, the takeaway reopened a week after the closure – it was recently inspected and has now been awarded a rating of four. 

Note for editors: 

In sentencing Novarra Ltd, Magistrates took the company’s guilty plea, and the financial difficulties it had experienced as a result of having to close Tommy Yaki, into account when determining the sentence.