A TAKEAWAY in Prescot has been prosecuted over breaches of food hygiene regulations after it was found to be infested by rats.

Knowsley Council has successfully prosecuted Uno Pizza for failing to maintain required standards of food hygiene.

Uno Pizza Ltd, the operator of the Uno Pizza takeaway on Chapel Street in Prescot, was found guilty of three charges of breaching the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013 following a routine inspection of the business by Environmental Health Officers from Knowsley Council in March last year.

According to the council, the business was required to close immediately following the inspection last year, after officers found evidence of rat droppings in the kitchen and stock room.

Meanwhile, a dead rat was found beneath a pizza box in the kitchen.

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Knowsley Council said there were gaps and holes in the building which had enabled rodents and pests to gain entry inside, and a door to the rear yard had been left open enabling rats to gain entry.

There was also accumulated food waste and debris behind freezers and under cooking equipment, and inadequate hand washing facilities.

Knowsley Council added that the business failed to conduct daily checks for pests in the premises and the management failed to heed warnings from council officers and the company’s own pest control contractor.

Uno Pizza Ltd were fined £11,000 on each of three charges of breaching food hygiene regulations by failing to keep the premises clean, failing to put in place adequate procedures to control pests, and failing to provide adequate facilities for staff to wash their hands.

The business was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £2,000 and Knowsley Council’s costs of £942.81, making a total penalty of £35,942.81.

The court found that the business was highly culpable for the offences, having previously received warnings and legal notices for breaching food hygiene regulations.

Uno Pizza received a four star hygiene rating during its most recent inspection on September 12, 2023. The takeaway is currently open for business.

The business says it closed voluntarily last year for building work worth tens of thousands of pounds to be carried out.