24KG of Maggot Infested Food Seized from Oxford Road Shop

Food Safety Breach

FROZEN food unfit for human consumption and infested with insects has been seized by Council Officers from an Oxford Road Shop.

Council officers discovered the frozen produce – mainly fish and some meat – infested with beetle larvae, maggots and flies at De Dora’s Lovely Fashion Shop in west Reading on 20th September 2019. The small retail shop at 273 Oxford Road already has a history of closure relating to food hygiene breaches in 2016 when it was formally closed due to a mouse infestation.

As well as being infested, the old food was mould covered, indicating the store’s poor food management practice in relation to stock rotation and temperature control.

Officers could find no proof of where the food had come from as it lacked labelling or an invoice trail.

The case was presented at Reading Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday 17th October, with the court granting the Council a Condemnation Order for the destruction of 24kg of the rotten produce. The Business Operator, Mrs Dora Opoku, who lives at Portman Way, Reading, did not appear in court to object.  The business was also ordered to pay the full court costs of £840.

Council Officers have now served Hygiene Improvement Notices on the business to secure improvements to standards.

Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health and Food Safety, said: “This case shows the Council’s commitment to protecting consumers from unacceptable food safety standards. There is no excuse for these kinds of breaches of basic food hygiene. Whilst the vast majority of food outlets in Reading are responsible, we take food violations like this very seriously and I want to thank our officers for their work on this case.

“We especially want to send out the clear message that we will take enforcement action where there is no documentation to prove where food has come from. We remain vigilant against potentially unsafe food finding its way to the UK unchecked or examined without accompanying documentation. All food businesses must be able to provide a clear audit trail of where produce has come from.”

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Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email victoria.nickless@reading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 3957