A CARE home has been fined £104,000 for committing five food hygiene offences.

Acorns Care Centre, which is based on Parkside in Hindley, admitted the charges at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court yesterday, Tuesday.

The offences include failure to ensure food was protected against contamination and not ensuring adequate procedures were in place to control pests.

They were also found guilty of failing to ensure food handlers were supervised, instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters.

The care home operator at the time of the offences in May and October last year was Acorns Care Centre Ltd.

The court heard that an inspection by Wigan Council environmental health officers found that there was an infestation of mice in the care home.

The kitchen and dining room was closed voluntarily on May 8, 2017 due to the significant risk of contamination of food. 

The closure was cancelled on May 11, 2017, allowing the kitchen and dining room to be used for food activity.

The home is currently open.

It also only registered a score of one out of five stars in a food hygiene inspection in April.

Cllr Carl Sweeney, cabinet member for environment at the council, said “The fine imposed by the magistrates in this matter demonstrates the seriousness of the offences.

“Despite the ongoing investigation in relation to the offences in 2017, it is disappointing that the recent inspection on April 20, 2018 only resulted in a rating of one under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

“We will always work with businesses to support them in complying with legal requirements.

“However, where businesses are in need of major improvement and have committed serious offences we will prosecute for the safety of our residents.”

The defendant was also ordered to pay costs of £1,900.

Specialist care home transformation company Caresolve was appointed in January to work with the owner of the home.

Ben Challinor, Caresolve’s Consultancy Director, said: “We were engaged by Acorns following a CQC inspection in which the home was rated 'inadequate'.

“We have since been working closely with both the owner and manager of the home to address all issues highlighted in the report.

"Issues raised in this case date back to a time prior to our engagement, however we are now confident that any failings have been fully addressed, with safeguards implemented to ensure they do not re-arise in future.

"We would welcome a re-inspection.

“Two directors of Caresolve have become non-executive directors in order to strengthen the board and to provide improved governance and oversight.”