Traders warned: Stay clean or face the courts

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A man faces a bill of more than £7,000 following a rat infestation in his Tring shop last summer.

Gurunathan Prapaharan, owner of The Old Stables general store in Miswell Lane, was prosecuted by Dacorum Borough Council for failing to comply with food hygiene regulations in connection with the vermin discovered last year.

Mr Prapaharan pleaded guilty to three separate counts of failing to meet various food hygiene requirements during May and June 2012.

Mr Prapaharan appeared at Watford Magistrates Court on Monday, March 18, where he was ordered to pay a £5,000 fine for the hygiene offences.

The store owner was also fined £2,790 in costs and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15.

Councillor Neil Harden, responsible for residents and regulatory services at Dacorum Borough Council, said: “We carry out a rigorous programme of inspection to protect the public, as well as maintain high standards of food hygiene within the Dacorum area.

“We will not tolerate non-compliance of the food hygiene regulations in food operations, and we will take formal action where necessary.”

The general store remains open and it is still run Mr Prapaharan.

All food premises in Dacoum are inspected by the borough council, and rated on their standards of hygiene, structure and management, based on the Food Standards Agency’s rating scheme.

Premises with lower ratings are inspected more frequently.

For more information about food hygiene ratings for businesses, visit www. ratings.food.gov.uk.