A former cafe owner has been banned from managing food businesses after failing to stop a mouse infestation at a Birmingham eatery.
Environmental health officers found mouse droppings throughout the Bus Stop Cafe in Stratford Road, Sparkbrook, Birmingham Magistrates Court heard.
The cafe was temporarily shut down last June after the officers deemed it an “imminent risk to consumers’ health”, said Chris Howrie, prosecuting on behalf of Birmingham City Council.
Osman Abaade pleaded guilty to four counts of flouting food hygiene regulations, including failing to ensure proper pest control procedures were in place and failing to keep the cafe clean.
The court heard how the prosecution comes just nine months after Abaade was fined at the same court for breaking food hygiene laws at the cafe in 2010.
Mrs Howrie said: “The officers found mouse droppings on a bag of paper food wrappers on the kitchen work surface, as well as under cabbages, in bags of sugar and in an open pot of hot chocolate powder.”
She said the toilet was broken, while the floor, hand basin and kitchen sink were covered with dirt and mould was growing on tiles.
Mounds of cardboard boxes were found in a rear yard outside the cafe with “substantial” rat droppings underneath, she added.
She said officers returned on numerous occasions and continued to find mouse droppings, with some discovered on a stainless steel shelf under a microwave and others near a drinks chiller.
“The shop was allowed to open almost a week after it was first inspected once a mouse had been caught and officers were satisfied steps were being taken to clean the premises,” added Mrs Howrie.
Inderjit Rayat, defending, said Abaade was “utterly remorseful” for his actions and had since sold the cafe.
He said the father-of-four, of Dolobran Road, Sparkbrook, was now unemployed but did dream of one day opening another cafe.
“He was trying to do everything himself and look after his family at the same time,” he said.
“He was losing the battle and he accepted defeat and sold the business as he didn’t want to put the public’s health at risk any more.
“He has been shamed by this and people in his community are now reluctant to employ him because of these matters.”
The 32-year-old was fined £400 and ordered to pay £600 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
He was also banned indefinitely from owning or managing a food retail outlet.