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Inspector finds ‘clutter, dirt and food on floor’ in corner shop

McColl’s received a critical food hygiene inspection after an inspector found clutter and a lack of hand washing facilities at a store (Picture: Gwynedd Council/Google)

A McColl’s store was pulled up after an inspector found food being stored in an overflowing cupboard and staff handling hot dogs despite not having a hand wash basin.

The branch in Wales was held to be in ‘non-compliance’ with food hygiene laws due to a range of issues including ‘dried milk and dirt’ on a fridge.

Under the Food Standards Agency (FSA) rating system the store, trading as a Morrisons Daily due to a partnership between the two chains, was given one star out of a maximum of five.

McColl’s was told to address ‘contraventions’ including staff not being aware of how to effectively use sanitiser and food storage at the store in Bontnewydd, Gwynedd.

The front of a refrigerator was found to be ‘covered in dried milk and dirt’ and there was no handwash basin in a counter area where staff were handling the hot dogs.

A food hygiene inspector found cluttered conditions inside a storeroom

A food hygiene inspector found cluttered conditions with stock strewn around a storeroom (Picture: Gwynedd Council)

The inspector found: ‘Packets of food were stored on the floor in the upstairs storeroom. It is not appropriate to store food directly on the floor where it can be exposed to contamination and dirt.’

The area was described as ‘cluttered and unorganised’, with ‘old equipment, rubbish and paperwork’ stored next to surplus food stock.

Some food items past their best before date were found alongside others that were still within their shelf life during the inspection on May 27, 2022.

In a cupboard under a sink, spray oil bottles were discovered being stored next to cleaning materials, ‘leading to possible contamination of the food’, a report states.

Out of date food was being stored alongside items still within their shelf life according to an inspection report

Out of date food was found being stored alongside items still within their shelf life according to an inspection report (Picture: Gwynedd Council)

The inspector found: ‘Overflow stock appeared to have been thrown up in the attic storeroom without due care to ensure the quality of the food.

‘Food was stored on the floor, in open boxes and on shelving and there did not appear to be a system of segregation to ensure these foods were kept apart. You need to check goods regularly to ensure efficient stock rotation.’

Dirt was found on the front of a milk fridge according to the letter to Martin McColl Ltd, which was released by Gwynedd Council after a request by Metro.co.uk under the Freedom of Information Act.

The inspector wrote: ‘Equipment must be cleaned immediately.’

The McColl's store was told to make major improvements after a food hygiene inspection (Picture: Google Street View)

The McColl’s store was told to make major improvements after a food hygiene inspection (Picture: Google Street View)

In a counter area, the public protection official from Gwynedd Council found staff handling hot dogs with no handwash basin.

The report states: ‘You must either stop selling open food or provide a wash hand basin. I note that the area manager said that he would stop selling the hot dogs as soon as this was pointed out to him.’

The lack of a basin had been raised with McColl’s during a previous inspection on November 27, 2017, according to the letter.

The inspector concludes that this ‘reflects poorly on the management’ and there was ‘some major non-compliance with statutory obligations’.

The one-star rating, which was live on the FSA’s website as of July 28, 2022, means ‘major improvement necessary’.

(Picture: Gwynedd Council)

Chocolates are shown strewn on the floor of a store room during a visit by a food hygiene official (Picture: Gwynedd Council)

A spokesperson for McColl’s said: ‘We’re aware that a Morrisons Daily store on Caernarfon Road, Bontnewydd in Caernarfon recently received a lower than expected hygiene rating at the most recent inspection.

‘This was well below the standards we adhere to and we have worked to rectify all issues that were highlighted to us.

‘The health, safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers will always remain our absolute priority.

‘We have since taken immediate action to put in place robust procedures to ensure that the next inspection reflects the high standards we set ourselves.’

Morrisons acquired all of McColl’s 1,160 branches in May after the convenience store chain went into administration. The buyer had an existing partnership agreement with the smaller retailer.

At the time of the acquisition, around 270 McColl’s stores were already operating as Morrisons Daily outlets.

It is understood that McColl’s is retaining managerial and operational control due to a ‘hold separate’ period as the Competition and Markets Authority investigates the merger.

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