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Health club fined after filthy find

Published Tuesday, 09 February 2016

The owners of the David Lloyd Leisure Ltd centre in Carterhatch Lane, Enfield have been fined £11,652.40, and ordered to pay £1,652.40 costs at Enfield Magistrates Court on 4 February, after Enfield Council successfully prosecuted them for serious food safety failings.

David Lloyd Leisure pleaded and was found guilty of not keeping their premises clean and maintained in good repair and condition with inadequate procedures in place to control pests.

The court heard that during a routine inspection on 3 December 2014, food preparation areas in the kitchen area of the health spa and fitness centre were found covered in mouse droppings whilst customers were being served food and drink in the bar and restaurant areas.

During the inspection of the kitchen and bar area mice droppings were found throughout the kitchen, especially in the food storage and preparation areas, behind fridges and freezers and under shelves. Droppings were also found in the staff office, which opened into the kitchen.

Inspectors also found poor quality cleaning in the kitchen and food storage areas, a build-up of dirt and food debris in the kitchen on and around equipment as well as on hand contact surfaces, such as fridge and freezer handles and on light switches and around doors. There was also damaged equipment being used in the kitchen, which could have led to contamination of food.

Because of the imminent risk to public health, Enfield Council’s Food Safety Team shut the kitchen down immediately. Concerns were primarily related to the risk of food being handled and prepared becoming contaminated, the pest infestation and the poor cleaning in the kitchen and food preparation areas.

The kitchen has since had a thorough clean, the pest problem has been eradicated and other improvements have been made and has now been allowed by Enfield Council to reopen.

Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: "It is completely unacceptable for places which sell food to endanger the health of customers by failing to take proper precautions against pests and operating unhygienic premises.

“I am shocked that such a well-known and busy club, which is there to promote healthy lifestyles, thought it acceptable to have large amounts of mouse droppings strewn around their kitchen area and where food was prepared. I am pleased that swift action was taken and the business has now cleaned up its act.

"Enfield Council does not tolerate businesses that cannot or will not comply with the law. We also take a dim view of those which fail to deal with pest problems or who do not keep their kitchens clean and we will continue to close down dirty or unhygienic food premises that endanger the health of our residents.”

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