By Oliver Taylor
Wigston Fish Bar is hoping to regain customers’ trust after it was fined £5,000 by Loughborough Magistrates’ Court and ordered to pay £1,555 in costs two weeks ago following the discovery of a rat infestation last November.
Wigston Fish Bar owner Harjinder Sandhu said the shop replaced its entire staff in February, barring one counter server, after management found breaches of food hygiene standards.
Mr Sandhu said: “Once we encountered hygiene issues, along with other issues, we replaced all our staff besides one counter server.
“This was done in February this year and since then, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback from old as well as new customers.
“Unfortunately, we trusted our old management team and they let us down. Even though this isn’t an excuse for the lack of hygiene, it was a factor.
“We’ve made significant improvements and have changed the way the business operates. Hopefully some of our customers will give us a second chance.”
At the magistrates’ ruling two weeks ago, it was revealed the chippy elected to cancel its private pest control contract in 2017. The magistrates said the business had “set itself up to fail.”
A council spokesperson said: “This case showed extremely serious breaches of food hygiene standards and it was lucky that customers weren’t made ill from food prepared in these conditions.
“The case demonstrates that this council will not hesitate to take firm action to protect residents and visitors.”
The shop, located in Leicester Road in Wigston, voluntarily closed to carry out necessary treatment after the discovery of fresh droppings and the odour of urine.
The Food Standards Agency carried out a new inspection in September and the shop has since been brought back up to three stars.
The current grading system factors the cleanliness of the premises, all relevant documentation and the layout of the establishment.
The shop still has a 3.9-star rating from 80 reviews on Google. The last four reviews, all within the last three weeks, are rated five stars.
One Facebook user commented on the Spotted Wigston page: “Urgh! This was LAST NOVEMBER if you read the article properly! It’s been turned over since then.
“I can’t say I use this place often but the place has had a big change over since this time last year! Give them a chance.”