Supermarket supplier fined £30k for mouse droppings and ‘filthy conditions’

A bakery producing Caribbean bread products for thousands of supermarket customers has paid the £30,000 price for food safety failings.

The bakery has contracts with outlets including supermarket giants Morrisons, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco, as well as a retail shop on the premises.

Environmental health officers repeatedly warned Sunrise Bakery, (which is in Smethwick in the West Midlands), of the risk to public health posed by mouse droppings and filthy working conditions, a judge heard.

Despite three prior visits and warnings, owner Copeland Drummond (also the sole director of the bakery’s controlling company, William Herman Ltd), failed to act.

Droppings were discovered on the floor near ovens, also where ingredients were stored and bread was cooled.

A shopping trolley which caught loaves from a slicing machine was rusty and dirty, while bread was stored on empty flour sacks that had been lying on the floor where the mouse excrement was found.

The “negligent” attitude of Drummond – the sole director of the bakery’s controlling company William Herman Ltd – was blamed for the problems.

Twenty-two offences were admitted in court, involving a catalogue of food safety and hygiene failings.

Recorder Nicholas Bacon QC said: “These offences are very serious and could have caused real health difficulties to the public since it supplied thousands of customers.

"The defendant had a lack of appreciation of the importance of these regulations and failed to appreciate the significance of what he was not doing.”

He fined the company £20,000 and ordered it to pay £10,000 costs while Drummond, 64, was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours unpaid work.