Mouse droppings were found in the kitchen of a Gloucester church hall, in cupboards where food serving equipment was stored.
Staff members at St Barnabas Church Hall, in Stroud Road, volunteered to close the kitchen following the food hygiene inspection on March 9.
The inspector said in their report: “During the inspection, mouse droppings were found in the equipment storeroom cupboards, on the hot trolley and in the cupboards in the main kitchen.”
The church hall was awarded a level two hygiene rating, signalling an improvement was necessary.
They also found: “At the time of my visit, food equipment e.g. temperature probe, serving spoons, scissors stored in the cupboards where the mouse droppings were found had not been properly cleaned and disinfected.”
“Hence, there is a risk that food will be contaminated after using this equipment.”
The food hygiene inspector said in their report that reports of a mouse infestation were made to the church committee as far back as November 2019 by their cook.
Asked about this, Reverend Sarah Todd, 46, said: “I wasn’t vicar at the time then. All I can say is I believe they were working with a rodent firm at the time and for some reason the infestation was not dealt with.
“I believe they changed from there on in, we got on top of the problem. We closed the kitchens as soon as that report came in and we dealt with it.”
Reverend Todd has been in post since April, prior to that she was the Curate of St Barnabas for four years.
Myra Bowen-Davies, Churchwarden at St Barnabas said: “That’s all been sorted out. We’re fine now and we’ve renovated the hall. You’re talking about the halls, not the church. We’re ready for reopening. That’s old news I am afraid.”
Ms Bowen-Davies has said they have bookings for dance classes and yoga classes ready for reopening on October 4.
She went on to say: “We’ve done all that. We’ve disinfected everything, we’ve worked very hard. It’s just all been sorted.
Asked why the church had a mouse infestation, Ms Bowen-Davies said: “It’s a very old building you see. There is a stage and they [mice] come under the stage but it’s not our fault because we have a contract with a company.
“We have finished with them now. We had a contract with a company and they were coming back every few months to monitor the situation and we were paying them a lot of money.
“We were doing everything that we could.”