THE OWNER of an Asian supermarket has been slapped with a hefty fine after hygiene inspectors found decomposing rats in the shop.

Rizwan Tai was fined thousands of pounds after the inspectors turned up to a horror show at Tai Oriental Supermarket, on Parsons Street in Banbury, in August 2018.

On their visit they had spotted a 'significant' amount of rat droppings on and under the shelves, where food was displayed, before coming across the remains of dead adult rats in a cupboard.

At Oxford Magistrates' Court on December 16, the owner, of Bath Road in Banbury, admitted not getting pest control in to sort out the obvious problem, and failing to protect the food against contamination from rat urine, faeces and fur – which can carry nasty diseases and dirt.

He also admitted not cleaning the shop regularly, not having a system in place for regular cleaning, and failing to give training and supervision to staff working there.

He also didn't complete the new registration form notifying the local authority of a change in food operators.

In total he was charged with six counts of failing to comply with the provision of the EU Hygiene Regulations and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,850 on top.

Inspectors left the shop on August 15, 2018 and the score quickly whittled down from a respectable three-star rating, to a zero.

Read more: scores on the doors- latest hygiene results in Oxfordshire

The business is not required to close when it is given the lowest score, however a zero-star rating means that the owners need to take urgent action as it could be unknowingly jeopardising the health of its customers.

Eight months after the initial report, the shop was reinspected by Cherwell District Council.

It was bumped up to a four-star rating, which is recognised as 'good' with only a few minor improvements to be made – a complete overhaul from the inspection the year before.

The shops first hygiene rating was on October 7, 2014 – when it was first awarded two-stars.

In February of 2017 the two-stars were turned into three.

In the report the hygiene of the food handling, like the food storage situation, was ranked 'good'.

The cleanliness and condition of the shop, which would have include any details about the rat and pest control problems, has now been marked 'good'.

The third category, how the shop manages food safety, was marked as 'generally satisfactory'.

Food safety includes staff training and whether the food is safe to eat.

The owners and Rizwan Tai were contacted for a comment, but did not respond.