Top hotel spends £40,000 making its kitchen ‘mouse-proof’ after run-in with health officials

Hotel du Vin in Birmingham has spent almost £40,000 making sure that rodents can’t get into its kitchen after a mice infestation landed it with a huge fine.

The boutique hotel in Church Street pleaded guilty to two charges under the Food Safety and Hygiene Act earlier this week after an environmental health officer found numerous evidence of droppings in the kitchen and bar areas.

According to the Birmingham Mail, officials visited the property after a diner spotted a mouse in the restaurant in September 2016.

The officers looked into the company’s hygiene checklists and also found that cleanliness checks had been signed off by the sous chef and head chef, despite parts of the kitchen clearly being unclean.

The court heard there was also a failure by Hotel du Vin to keep the premises in good repair including a flyscreen which was partially damaged, ceiling tiles which were damaged and others displaced and gaps between walls.

District Judge Jan Jellema fined Hotel Du Vin £120,000 and ordered the company to pay court costs of £12,216, plus a surcharge of £170.

The property was charged for failing to ensure one charge related to a failure to ensure the food premises were clean in relation to mice droppings and the other to a failure to keep equipment clean on the premises.

Hotel Du Vin later issued a statement after the court case. It said: “The Hotel Du Vin Group acknowledges the court’s findings. The safety of our guests and staff is our number 1 priority and we take any breach of health and safety standards extremely seriously.

“We immediately rectified the issue that caused the temporary breach in September 2016 and all staff at this hotel have undergone rigorous retraining.

“We would like to reassure visitors to our hotel in Birmingham of our total commitment to maintaining best in class standards.”

The Birmingham Mail reported that Hotel Du Vin made a series of improvements to the kitchen in the wake of the inspection, including a new floor and bar areas totalling £39,000 to ensure mice were kept out.

The hotel has also changed its pest control company, which visits the property 52 times a year now instead of the previous 17.

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