loose pieces of pasta, mingling with mouse droppings on a shelf in Latik

Rodent-infested shop faced with legal action after defying agreement to close

An infestation of mice was found at Hessle Road food business Latik, during a routine initial visit  by Hull City Council’s Public Protection Team.

Officers discovered mouse droppings on the floor in the storeroom and on shelves, with packets of food chewed open and more droppings scattered on top. The rodent infestation was deemed an imminent risk to public health and the business owner agreed to immediately close the shop. The agreement said the business could open again when the mouse problem had been dealt with and officers had made a return visit to confirm it was safe.

However, when an officer made a routine stop to check the shop had stayed closed, it was discovered to be open as usual. An inspection inside uncovered the chewed and dropping-littered food, as well as out-of-date food items. The officers issued a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice – at Hull Magistrates Court, this was converted to a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order. Violating this order by continuing to trade without permission from the Public Protection Team is a criminal offence.

The shop has now been able to open again, after proving the building had been thoroughly pest-proofed and deep cleaned.

Cllr Julia Conner, whose portfolio includes Environmental Health and Protection, said: “Protecting public health is always the priority of our officers; there is absolutely no room for doubt that a business infested with mice, with food obviously contaminated must not be allowed to stay open.

“Our teams always do what they can to work with business owners and operators to ensure they understand why action is being taken, and what they must do. Unfortunately, if restrictions are violated, sometimes further action is necessary. The officers were very surprised to find this business had reopened after agreeing to stay closed, and without having made any of the necessary improvements. This showed a clear disregard for the health and safety of customers, putting those who were unknowingly using the shop at risk. Incidents like this are why routine checks are so important.

“Hopefully this business understands the severity of what has happened. It’s encouraging that they have made the necessary improvements to be able to open again. There is clear support and guidance available on what must now be done to retain an acceptable standard and continue trading”.