Dunstable care home fined over £25,000 for serious food hygiene failures – including mice and expired food
In May 2022, there was an unannounced food hygiene inspection at Chiltern View Care Home, on West Street. The 30-bed residential care home which cared for elderly residents until March this year, was found to have numerous food hygiene failures during the inspection. These included an “active mouse infestation in the kitchen, poor food hygiene practices with the discovery of out-of-date food in the fridge, and inadequate cleaning measures for both the kitchen and equipment”.
The council determined that Benlow's Management Company Ltd, the owners of the care home, failed to create adequate procedures for pest control, neglected the cleanliness of the premises, and did not put a food safety management system in place. Benlow's Management Company Ltd, appeared in court in August 2023 and pleaded guilty to four offences. On October 20, they were fined a total of £25,420, which included costs of £5,230 awarded to the council.
Councillor Rebecca Hares, the executive member responsible for health and community liaison, said: "The level of the fine imposed by the court reflects the severity of the offences. This serves as a clear message to other businesses that we will not tolerate those who disregard food hygiene regulations. We take food hygiene extremely seriously, and the inspection conducted by our officers revealed significant breaches of standards, including an untreated mouse infestation.”