Bengal Spices curry house fined £10,000 over rat droppings
A reigning "best curry house in Wales" has been fined £10,000 after rat droppings were found in its kitchen during a surprise inspection.
Dirt, grease and food debris were also accumulating on the floor, walls and other surfaces of Bengal Spices, in Llanymynech, Powys, magistrates heard.
Mizanur Chowdhury and Rabiul Alam pleaded guilty to nine offences at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates' Court.
The venue won the 2013 Welsh curry house of the year competition.
Powys council said its food safety team inspected the premises, in a village with a population of just 750, after a complaint.
As well as finding rat droppings, the inspectors also found "rodent access holes" in the building.
The council said: "Dirty food preparation equipment and utensils were found in use in the kitchen.
"And food equipment, including chopping boards and plastic storage containers, were found to be in a poor state of repair and were difficult to clean."
The council said the restaurant had offered to close for pest control treatment and a deep clean and disinfection, and all foods that could have been contaminated were surrendered for disposal.
Powys council cabinet member for environmental health, John Powell, said: "In this instance, despite significant assistance from our food safety team, the required standards were not met, and the action taken has been proportionate to the risks identified."
The Welsh Curry House of the Year competition was established in 2007.