THE owner of a Charlton food warehouse has been fined for poor hygiene after mouse droppings were discovered among sacks of flour and dead insects were found in a basin.

Health inspectors also found high levels of toxins in some foods including smoked prawns at Ades Cash and Carry, in Eastmoor Street, as well as equipment deemed dangerous for staff.

News Shopper: The dead insects found in a hand basin

Ades Limited was fined £6,000 at Bexley Magistrates’ Court on January 13 after director Michael Adedipe admitted food hygiene offences.

The company was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of £2,745 and Mr Adedipe was separately fined £2,500.

The court heard how Greenwich Council environmental health officers repeatedly gave advice to the owners and served a string of enforcement notices but to no avail.

In a surprise visit in December 2012, officers found a large set of mobile steps with broken wheels - posing a safety risk to staff - as well as holes in walls and dead insects in a hand basin.

News Shopper: Mobile steps with broken wheels

A follow-up visit revealed mouse droppings scattered among bags of flour and products with high levels of toxins - several times over recommended European limits – which the company was instructed to remove from sale.

Greenwich Council cabinet member for community safety and environment Councillor Maureen O’Mara, said: “This business was prosecuted because they failed to respond to the detailed advice which officers had provided over some time.

“They had very poor levels of hygiene and cleanliness and by failing to follow proper safety procedures also put their staff at risk of serious harm.

“It is essential that food businesses are kept clean and measures taken to prevent the sale of unsafe food.

"We provide advice and guidance to allow businesses to meet their responsibilities, but will not hesitate in taking action against irresponsible businesses that break the law.”