Filthy Acton Shop With Mice Infestation Fined

Al- Rafidain posed ' serious risk' to public's health




dirty shelf butcher


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A filthy shop and butchers in Acton with a string of food hygiene offences has been ordered to pay more than £13,500.

Officers from Ealing Council’s food safety team paid unannounced visits to Al-Rafidain, located at 140 Churchfield Road, in July last year and February this year. Prior to these visits, the business had a poor history of compliance with food law.

In July 2013 officers found the shop to be in a very bad state of repair and cleanliness with evidence of mice, including packets of food gnawed open. The shop was closed temporarily following the inspection.

In February, officers found that standards had deteriorated again. There were holes in the walls and floor and surfaces were encrusted with filth. Several packets of food had been chewed by mice and droppings were seen throughout, including on the shop’s shelves and on cleaning cloths. A live mouse was also spotted in the shop among sacks of rice.

And when officers inspected the cold room, they found that fresh meat was being stored on filthy shelves. The floor of the cold room was flooded with water from a faulty condenser which had saturated packages of food and expired, mouldy food was also found on the floor.

Officers served a hygiene emergency prohibition notice and ordered the shop to temporarily close, because it presented a serious risk to the public’s health. However, when a council officer visited the shop later that evening to make sure that it was abiding by the notice, he found the shop still trading.

The owner of the business pleaded guilty to seven charges at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, 16 September. Two of the charges related to separate fly-tipping offences and one was as a result of the shop continuing to trade illegally after it had been ordered to close.

The fines totalled £9,800 and they were also ordered to pay the council’s costs of £3,535.91 plus a £240 victim surcharge.

Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for community services and safety, said: “The council has used its emergency powers to close this business twice within seven months, but the owners of Al-Rafidain seem to show no respect for their customers or for the public’s health.

“Food businesses are obliged by law to keep their premises clean, hygienic and to control pests. We try to work with businesses to help them improve, but continued failure to comply with food law leaves us with no option but to prosecute. I hope this hefty fine teaches the owners of this business a lesson.”

Anyone concerned that a business is breaching food hygiene regulations should contact the council’s food safety team on 020 8825 6666, or via email at



24th September 2014