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William Ellis School pupil ‘horrified’ by food hygiene rating triggers re-inspection bid

PUBLISHED: 07:38 06 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:09 08 August 2018

Sam White, Headteacher of William Ellis School

Sam White, Headteacher of William Ellis School

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Mouse droppings found in a box of potatoes and around the kitchens were behind William Ellis School’s one-star food hygiene rating, the Ham&High can reveal.

Mouse droppings found in a box of potatoes and around the kitchens were behind William Ellis School’s one-star food hygiene rating, the Ham&High can reveal.

The Highgate school told us it had a mice problem last autumn – which led to Food Standards Agency inspectors giving it the low grade.

When contacted by the Ham&High, headteacher Sam White explained the school had dealt with the problem but there had been “confusion” over how it could get the rating revised.

He added it has now applied for a re-inspection having passed several spot-checks over the past six months.

The one-star rating the school currently has is the lowest for any secondary school in Camden, and means that “major improvement is necessary”.

The report prepared by the inspectors last autumn details how mice droppings were found throughout the school’s kitchen and food preparation area.

It reads: “Fresh mice droppings were noted to the floors and low shelving in the kitchen and food storage areas in close proximity to food. This is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.

“Droppings were noted in an open box of potatoes and on the lid of a container of black-eyed beans.”

A student at the school told the Ham&High: “I’ve been eating school dinners for years and finding out about this horrified me. The grade is way below satisfactory and I can’t believe my parents pay £20 a week for that.”

Mr White added: “Historically, this school has always received outstanding food hygiene reports. The same was set to happen until mouse droppings were spotted in the canteen during October’s inspection and the follow-up visit.

“Since then, we have had pest control in repeatedly and blocked the hole the mice were using to enter the building.”

The last spot check visit was carried out in February and inspectors found no evidence of mice activity.

The school’s application for a fresh inspection is currently being processed by Camden Council.

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