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Rat infestation found in Unique Spice restaurant in Burnham

The owner of a restaurant in Burnham High Street has been lumped with a fine after environmental health officers found a rat infestation in a food storage room.

Owner of Unique Spice, Abu Siddique, and the associated company Unique Spice (South Bucks) Limited were found guilty of food hygiene offences at Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, July 4.

They were fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £2218.

Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils’ environmental health officers visited the restaurant in July last year and found rat droppings posing a direct risk of contamination to the food in the top store room above the restaurant.

There was also evidence of rat droppings, a gnawed door frame, nesting material and gnawed food in that room.

A hygiene emergency prohibition notice was served, prohibiting the use of the first floor storage area in connection with the food business.

Between March 2013 and July 2017 the food hygiene rating scheme scores for the restaurant in had fluctuated from a score of 0 (urgent improvement required) to a score of 2 (improvement necessary).

The restaurant was re-inspected in January 2018 and received a hygiene rating of 4 (good).

The Magistrates noted that despite the company having a poor hygiene rating, Mr Siddique was of exemplary character and had taken the offence seriously and was remorseful.

South Bucks District Council portfolio holder for environmental health Councillor Patrick Hogan (Beaconsfield West, Con) said that about 96 per cent of food businesses in the South Bucks district have a food hygiene rating of 3 or more.

He added: “Environmental health officers prefer to work with businesses to help them to improve but repeated low ratings of 2 or below are intolerable and formal action is likely to take place, as in this instance."

Visit www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/food-hygiene-rating-scheme#finding-a-rating to see your area’s restaurant and takeaway’s hygiene ratings.

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