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'Cockroaches and maggots' found at bakery

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Cockroaches and mouse droppings were found in two London kosher bakeries, and maggots in one of the branches, a court heard on Wednesday.

Infestations of cockroaches and mice were discovered in the Stamford Hill and Manor House branches of Sharon's Bakery during health inspections carried out in June and July 2013, Snaresbrook Crown Court was told.

Sharon Bakery UK Ltd, business director Benison Nassim and general manager Shuki Mozes deny charges of breaking specified EU food safety provisions - and of consent, connivance or neglect in respect of EU food safety provisions.

Prosecution lawyer Mark Himsworth said: "They found mouse dropping and maggots next to dirty cooking utensils" in the Manor House branch. Two of the maggots were live.

Mr Mozes claimed in court that the bakery was "sparkling" when he checked it. "Everything was under control. Mouse droppings in the corners - I don't call it an infestation in my eyes."

‘When I saw mouse droppings under the mixing bowl, I was shocked’

His understanding was that a pest control company was coming to the shop every five weeks to keep the situation under control.

He had relied on his shop manager to inform him of any issues. "When I saw mouse droppings under the mixing bowl, I was shocked."

The court also heard that there was no hand soap at both branches. "It definitely was the result of the actions of staff," Mr Nassim claimed.

Mr Himsworth maintained: "You decided to blame the branch manager and Mr Mozes when you knew it was your responsibility." He added in his closing speech: "There cannot have been adequate procedures in place for the control of pests.

"They either knew what was happening and turned a blind eye or ought to have known." The trial continues.

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