UPDATE: Rat-infested Cumbrian brewery promises action after court order forces closure (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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UPDATE: Rat-infested Cumbrian brewery promises action after court order forces closure
Updated 4:22pm Friday 11th July 2014 in News
A RAT-infested Cumbrian brewery has promised to do 'everything in its power' to rectify the problem.
Dent Brewery, one of the most remote in England, has been forced to close following two site visits by Environmental Health officers.
Thousands of litres of beer will now have to be thrown away after South Lakeland District Council obtained a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order and a Food Condemnation Order at Kendal Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
No timescale has been given on when the brewery, which nestles in Dentdale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, will be allowed to re-open.
Bosses said today the brewery was taking measures to alert anyone who could be affected.
"We have checked all our products to make sure it doesn't get into the marketplace and have alerted landlords and customers," said a spokesperson.
"Rats compromised our grain store area so a lot of grain was spoilt.
"We are working very closely with Environmental Health who are giving us a lot of support.
"We want to reassure the public we are doing everything in our power to make sure we are back to making a good, safe, high-quality product as soon as possible."
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SLDC said in a statement its Environmental Health Officers from the Public Protection Group visited the premises on June 16 and identified there was a problem with rats accessing the site.
It gave the business advice on how to deal with the problem, but the situation had not improved when officers made a follow-up visit on July 7, said SLDC.
Officers seized about 600kg of malt and grain and the statement said approximately 4000 litres of brewing beer will also now be disposed of.
“The council takes public health issues very seriously and will carry out a thorough investigation of potential breaches of hygiene regulations," said Simon Rowley, assistant director for neighbourhood services.
“Businesses that are selling or making products for human consumption have a responsibility to do so in a safe and hygienic manner.”
SLDC is working with Public Health England and has informed the Food Standards Agency about the closure.
John Astbury, from Cumbria and Lancashire’s Public Health England Centre, said: “We are working in partnership with South Lakeland District Council on this matter.
"We can reassure people that any health risk to the public is very low. “
In May, South Lakes MP Tim Farron secured a place for Dent Brewery's Aviator ale in the House of Commons 'Strangers' bar.