Lincolnshire

Rats and maggots found at Brookenby fish company

Health inspectors found rats and maggots at a Lincolnshire fish processing firm, a court was told.

Rotting fish which was years out of date was also discovered in the cold store at Allan Rich Seafoods Ltd in Brookenby, Lincoln Crown Court heard.

Company boss Roland Saldanha, 69, and his firm were found guilty of six breaches of hygiene regulations between August and November 2008.

The fish seemed to have been defrosted and frozen again, his trial was told.

During the three-week hearing, environmental health officers said the premises were infested with rats and other frozen stock was covered in dead maggots.

'Worst' conditions

One council official said it was the worst she had seen in 11 years of working in environmental health.

Saldanha, of Gipsy Hill, south east London, denied seven breaches of food hygiene regulations.

He was convicted on Tuesday of six of the charges after 11 hours of deliberations by the jury.

During his trial, he said he believed the maggots were placed there as "an act of sabotage" by a sacked former employee.

He claimed that mouldy and out-of-date stock, some of which had been attacked by rats, was being stored for another firm and was awaiting disposal for fish meal.

Saldanha also denied seven breaches of animal by-product regulations but was convicted on four charges.

He is due to be sentenced next month.

Allan Rich Sea Foods Ltd had denied eight breaches of food hygiene regulations but the company was convicted on six counts.

The firm also denied six breaches of animal by-products regulations and was found guilty of five charges.

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