The former operator of a grocery store in Burnham has been fined almost £20,000 after mouldy food and items past their use-by date were discovered at the shop.

Odedra Brothers Limited, who ran Burnham Village Store until February, was found guilty of eight charges of food hygiene offences on December 14.

“Many items” past their sell by date and mouldy food were found at the High Street shop during a South Bucks District Council (SBDC) investigation.

Advice was given to the operator, however more complaints were made and mouldy food was found on two further occasions.

Officers found that a lack of suitable training and supervision of staff, lack of adequate management systems, poor hand hygiene and ineffective cleaning exacerbated the problems.

The former operator was prosecuted and appeared at Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on Friday, where nearly £20,000 worth of fines and costs were imposed.

The store has since been taken over by a new operator and was given the highest possible rating of “very good” when it was inspected by food hygiene officials in July this year.

South Bucks district councillor for environmental health, Patrick Hogan, said: “In South Bucks most food businesses have good or very good food hygiene standards.

“When we find there are problems, officers endeavour to work with businesses to help them improve but when they fail to follow advice, we have to use formal action, as in this case. I’m pleased to report that the new operators of Burnham Village Store have achieved a very good food hygiene rating.”