A grocery store has been rapped to the tune of £10,000 after a number of food-hygene breaches.
Grocers and Halal Butchers Southend Bangla Bazaar, in London Road, Westcliff, was raided by officers from Southend Council earlier this year.
They found food had been sold which had been contaminated by pests, and the shop had a vermin problem.
A rodent infestation was found at the warehouse of the store, with mouse droppings littered around the storage area and they had eat food that officers believe would have been sold in the main shop.
Owner Mohammed Nazrul Hussain Mannan pleaded guilty to charges brought against him and his business, and he was fined £10,000.
However, he is no longer running the store and it has been renamed Bangla Groceries.
The new owners claim they knew nothing of the court case.
A total of £1,460 was awarded to the authority in costs and a £120 victim surcharge was doled out.
Evidence of rodents chewing through food
Independent Mike Assenheim, Executive Councillor for Regulatory Control, said: “There is quite rightfully a basic expectation that those selling food to the public meet minimum standards of food hygiene and safety.
"To have such clear pest infestations that had clearly been ongoing for some time, and to not have addressed them is simply unacceptable. I am very pleased that our officers have secured a successful prosecution."
"To not meet these basic standards of hygiene is both dangerous and unacceptable, as is not having any food management systems in place or pest control documentation.
“I do hope that the outcome of this case sends a clear message that Southend-on-Sea Borough Council will take action against those businesses that are prepared to put our residents at risk.”
Rodent droppings in a box
The business and Mr Mannan were faced with charges earlier this month.
They appeared in Southend Magistrates Court on Tuesday.
The state of some food found at the premises