Dead mice found in kitchen of Amber's Sandwich Bar, in Sunderland, by inspectors, as report reveals zero star food hygiene rating

A Sunderland sandwich shop has been hit with a food hygiene rating of zero following an inspection by food safety officers.

A food safety inspector from Sunderland City Council carried out an assessment at Amber’s Sandwich Bar, in Durham Road, on June 14.

As a result of the visit, the environmental health officer handed the venue a zero-star food hygiene rating.

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A zero-star rating is at the very bottom of the scale for food hygiene ratings and means “urgent improvement is required”.

Amber's Sandwich Bar, in Durham Road, was rated zero hygiene stars in its latest inspection.

When carrying out an assessment, inspectors look at three main areas, including hygienic food handling; management of food safety; and the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building.

This is what the environmental health officer found when inspecting Ambers Sandwich bar on June 14, 2022.

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No sanitiser or soap on site

The inspector noted that, at the time of the inspection, there was no sanitiser on site, just a multi-purpose cleaner, meaning that work surfaces and equipment were not being adequately disinfected.

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There was no soap (or hygienic hand drying facilities for example paper towels) at the kitchen wash hand basin.

And when the inspector asked the member of staff what they used instead, they stated they used washing up liquid.

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The officer said: “It is important that staff understand what chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection do, and that the correct products, purchased from reputable suppliers, are always used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.”

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Cobwebs and mouse droppings found

The report states that the standard of cleaning to the structure of the kitchen, including the work surfaces, was generally poor, including mouse droppings found in several locations.

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The floor in the kitchen were dirty, as were the fryers, and the painted wall covering above the preparation bench was flaking paint.

In addition, the safety officer said the ceiling was dirty, with cobwebs evident, and the extraction canopy and filters in the kitchen were in a greasy condition.

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A hole was noted in an external wall of the kitchen and an “excessive accumulation” of rubbish was found in the kitchen.

The back door into the kitchen was said to be “ill fitting”, allowing pests access to the premises.

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The officer said: "Any gaps and holes to external doors, windows, pipes, drains etc. must be filled or covered with a solid, durable material in order to minimise pest entry points into food preparation and storage areas.

“A thorough deep clean (and disinfection) is required. All areas must be maintained in a clean condition.”

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Two dead mice found in kitchen

During the inspection two dead mice were noted in the kitchen along with mouse droppings.

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An “excessive” amount of rubbish was found in the rear yard as well as overgrown vegetation.

The officer said: “This must be cleared immediately, and arrangements made to prevent food waste and other refuse accumulating in the future.

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"Appropriate treatment methods must be used to eliminate these pests.

“The area must also be cleared of any vegetation as it is currently overgrown with vegetation. This would help reduce the risk of any rodent activity.”