Environmental health officials from Huntingdonshire District Council found a welter of problems when they carried out an inspection at Bunters in the High Street following a complaint. They found a rusted tin of cheese in the fridge as well as a shredded box showing signs of rat infestation during visits to the premises. There was no documented food safety management system, potential for cross-contamination of food, poor temperature controls, poor cleaning and poor stock control, as well as the toilet wash basin being out of use. Manager Pepi Smilkov failed to appear before magistrates in Peterborough and was convicted of 21 hygiene offences in his absence. He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £3,455 costs, with a £30 victim surcharge. The council said that Mr Smilkov had continually ignored advice from the food safety officer. Despite being given advice by the council, the business consistently received poor hygiene ratings and at the time of the offences last August had a zero score meaning that urgent improvement was necessary. The council said a second inspection was carried out last October and officials found little improvement had taken place and that further contravention of the regulations were spotted, including signs of rodent activity. The business had also been left in the charge of non-competent food handlers while Mr Smilkov was out of the country. Cllr Jim White, executive councillor for regulation and operations, said: The Council is committed to protecting the health of the local community. Food law lays down basic cleanliness, structural and hygiene standards for food businesses to help keep customers safe and healthy. The environmental health team work hard to ensure that all businesses are aware of their responsibilities and will support those that need advice and guidance. However, businesses that continue to ignore food hygiene requirements will face robust enforcement action and ultimately financial penalties.