An “unkempt” off-licence in Widnes kept a bag of potatoes on display for 18 months beyond its best before date.
Hygiene inspectors described Booze N Food in Liverpool Road as “generally unkempt, and in a dirty and deteriorating condition” when they visited the shop in September.
According to an inspection report released by Halton Council, they found several products that had been kept on the shelves past their best before date, including one bag of potatoes with a best before date of March 2018.
Although it is not illegal to display food past its best before date, it is not recommended and if the food is found to be unfit to eat the seller may then have broken the law.
Inspectors added that staff were “unable to maintain good personal hygiene” and that the store was in such bad condition that they could not determine if a mouse problem identified in June was still ongoing.
In the main shop area, they found food items for sale were covered in dust and the “worn and deteriorating” floor had been repeatedly repaired with gaffer tape, while in the toilet the sink was “dirty” and the store kept its mop and bucket next to the toilet bowl, presenting “contamination risks”.
A member of staff at Booze N Food told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Whatever they’ve told us to do, we’ve done.
“Health and safety have been back in and they’ve told us they’re happy with how it’s going now. They’ve told us five things to do and we’ve done every one of them.”
An officer at Halton Council confirmed on Tuesday that the shop’s hygiene rating was still zero.