Dave Burke of the Daily Mail reports a kitchen in an upmarket Westminster bar owned by restaurant critic Oliver Peyton’s company was covered in mouse droppings, a court has heard.
The company has since gone bust.
Inspectors discovered mouse droppings inside food storage containers and a sandwich sealing machine, Westminster Magistrates Court heard.
And they found that rodents were trying to nest under the sink by chewing up paper hand towels, prosecutors claim.
The court was told mouse droppings were discovered on a tray where ready-to-eat sandwiches are kept before they are wrapped in cling film.
Westminster Council, which is prosecuting the business, says inspectors found more on the floor in the food storage areas, shelves near food preparation areas and on shelves containing bottles of olive oil.
Even more droppings were discovered on the lids of jars containing ready-to-eat food such as hazelnut paste, sugar cubes, chestnuts and popping candies, it is alleged.
The firm went into administration last month, after the first court hearing into health and safety breaches at the ICA Bar.
French company Sodexo bought the firm’s remaining catering contracts, while the Peyton family took over the bakery side of the business.
The charges the company face include a further allegation that mouse droppings and grease was found in the washing up areas and all over shelves holding cleaning products and paper towels.
Inspectors noted that two rolls of blue hand paper towel underneath the sink in the wash-up room had been gnawed by mice.
The company was summoned to court face eight charges of failing to comply with food safety and hygiene provisions, but no-one from the now defunct firm showed up.
Prosecutor Kirsty Pantin, for Westminster Council, applied to district judge Paul Goldspring for the case to be adjourned so the administrators, Deloitte, could be contacted.
‘The company has gone into administration after the last hearing when pleas were meant to be entered,’ said Ms Panton.