City corner shop handed ZERO hygiene rating after rat infestation shuts store

Port Meadow Convenience Store on Godstow Road in Wolvercote was immediately issued a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice by Oxford City Council’s Environmental Health team.

Inspectors visited on Friday, April 5, and declared that “urgent improvement [was] necessary” after rats were found at the store.

This led to the shop being slapped with an abysmal zero-out-of-five hygiene rating and the business was closed as a result.

Oxford Mail: Rats were discovered at Port Meadow Convenience Store.Rats were discovered at Port Meadow Convenience Store. (Image: Newsquest)

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A notice was attached to the shop by the council following the inspection which detailed why the location had been forcibly closed.

The shop “poses an imminent risk of injury to health” according to the notice because “there is evidence of a serious rat infestation throughout the premises”.

It added: “Rat droppings were evident throughout the rear storage rooms and there was evidence of damaged ready to eat food and drink packaging.

“Some of the packaging was clearly contaminated with droppings.”

Oxford Mail: Port Meadow Convenience Store has been closed.Port Meadow Convenience Store has been closed. (Image: Google)

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Canned and bottled drinks were stored outside in the side garden and rear yard “where there was also evidence of significant rat activity”.

It says “gnawed packets of food” were also found in the rear store.

The zero-rated food hygiene report outlined the store’s hygienic food handling as a major issue with ‘urgent improvement’ deemed necessary.

This refers to the hygienic handling of food including the preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage of produce onsite.

Oxford Mail: The Oxford City Council notice attached to the business.The Oxford City Council notice attached to the business. (Image: Contributed)

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Cleanliness and condition of facilities and the building itself were also marked as a key issue with ‘urgent improvement’ needed once again.

This includes having an appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control to enable good food hygiene.

Inspectors also criticised Port Meadow Convenience Store’s management of food safety which was deemed to require ‘urgent improvement’ as well.

This regards having a system or checks in place to ensure that the food that is sold or served is safe to eat.

Oxford Mail: Port Meadow Convenience Store is in Wolvercote.Port Meadow Convenience Store is in Wolvercote. (Image: Google Maps)

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It also concerns whether there is evidence that staff know about food safety and if the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future.

A spokesperson for Oxford City Council said: “We can confirm that the attached has been served and we are due in court on Thursday this week, for the magistrates to confirm the action the council has taken.”

Port Meadow Convenience Store joins just two other businesses in the county to attain a zero-out-of-five rating with Oxford’s Globe News and Caversfield’s Turkish Delight given the same score.

The Oxford Mail has attempted to approach the shop for comment on the report and closure.

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