THE owner and manager of a food shop allowed the premises to become infested with mice and flies.
Dilshad Rashid, owner of Tariq Stores, Blacker Road, Birkby, and shop manager Hewa Rihem also allowed meat to be prepared there even after Kirklees Council had suspended business, a court was told.
Huddersfield magistrates yesterday ordered Rashid, 26, from Corby, Northamptonshire, and Rihem, 30, from Moorbottom Road, Thornton Lodge, to do 150 hours community work.
Kirklees had imposed an emergency food hygiene order suspending trade after an inspection last June found the shop in an abominable state.
Mouse excreta and flies were discovered throughout the premises.
Blood and meat waste was found on the butchery floor and fridge doors were filthy.
Flies were found settling on chicken breasts and swarming in a room where meat being prepared.
Kirklees Environmental Health Services inspectors found a decaying mouse in the toilet.
The catalogue of disgust continued outside, where the officers found flies swarming around meat and poultry waste discarded in open containers.
Council health inspector Gillian Rockett said: "One pest control officer said it was one of the worst situations he had seen."
Inspectors returned two days later to find the shop improved, but still in an unfit state.
They saw a man flee from the back door, carrying what appeared to be two bags of meat. And inside inspectors found two men trimming and sawing meat.
Rihem, who admitted having no food hygiene training at the time, said he had told his staff only to clean the premises.
Tariq Stores later reopened after inspectors were satisfied with the shop's cleanliness.
Prosecutor Carol Holberry said: "This was a serious contravention of food hygiene regulations."
In mitigation, lawyer Neil Murphy said: "This was a case of naivety and inexperience, rather than deliberate flouting of health and safety regulations for profit.
"The shop now has all the correct certificates."
Magistrates' chairman Margaret Sunderland told the defendants: "You continued to prepare meat even after the hygiene order had been served.
"The premises were in a disgraceful condition.
"There has been a serious contravention of regulations put in place to protect the public.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to failing to comply with several hygiene regulations, failing to take pest control measures and breaching Kirklees's emergency prohibition order.
Rashid also pleaded guilty to failing to register as a food business. He was ordered to pay £500 costs.