Bakery fined after mice and cockroach infestation


A bakery, its owner and manager were ordered to pay £28,000 after widespread mice and cockroach infestations were discovered at two Hackney branches.

Mr Bension Nassim, Director of Sharon’s Bakery UK Ltd and Mr Shuki Mozes, General Manager of Sharon’s Bakery and Sharon’s Bakery UK Ltd were given fines at Snaresbrook Crown Court, Friday 15 May, for breaching food hygiene regulations. They were issued a combined fine of £8000, and costs of £20,000 were awarded to Hackney Council.

The Stamford Hill and Woodberry Down branches were closed immediately by Hackney Council Environmental Health Officers after unannounced visits in June and July 2013 respectively, found widespread evidence of mice and cockroaches.

Problems discovered at Stamford Hill included:

  • Cockroach and mouse droppings in the kitchen and storage rooms, on shelving and on packets of food
  • Cardboard boxes and crates used to transport bread and cakes were littered with mouse droppings
  • Extensive grease and dirt build up behind and between equipment, pipe work, behind the cooking range, greasy and dusty ventilation canopy filters and ingrained dirt on food containers and packages.

Problems discovered at Woodberry Down included:

  • A wide spread mouse infestation
  • A gnawed block of chocolate in the kitchen
  • Layers of dirt, blackened grime and mouse droppings on pots and trolleys used to move fresh bread

After carrying out work including pest treatment and proofing both branches opened again soon after.


Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council
When we buy food from a shop we need to be confident that it is being prepared and kept in a clean and safe place. Sharon’s Bakery failed to meet hygiene standards on more than one occasion and we were left with no option, but to take legal action.

“The environmental health team will continue to work with the owners and staff at the bakery to ensure they meet the required standards of cleanliness and hygiene in the future.

“Unannounced spot checks are carried out across Hackney, and the Council will not hesitate to close down any premises that risks contaminating food or poses a risk to people’s health.
Cllr Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Hackney Council

Regular visits and spot checks were carried out at both shops to ensure they were meeting the required standards. In November 2014, evidence of mice and cockroaches were found again, at the Stamford Hill Branch; a further notice was served for failure to control pests. Further work, including pest treatment and pest proofing were carried out again. Follow up inspections continue to be carried out regularly.

Between them they were found guilty of ten offences under EU food hygiene regulations including:

  • Failure to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to control pests;
  • Failure to ensure that the premises were kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition; and
  • Failure to ensure that raw materials and all ingredients stored in a food business are kept in appropriate conditions designed to prevent harmful deterioration and protect them from contamination.

Sharon’s Bakery branches are at: 182-184 Stamford Hill, N16 6QX and 2b Woodberry Down, Manor House, N4 2TG.

Sharon’s Bakery Stamford Hill currently has a Food Standards Agency Rating of one star and Woodberry Down has four.

Anyone suspecting a business of breaching hygiene standards should contact Hackney Council’s Environmental Health Team on: 0208 356 4911 or: info@hackney.gov.uk