Mouse droppings and mouldy crème fraîche were discovered in a neighbourhood bakery in Fitzrovia.
Peyton and Byrne bakeries on Great Portland Street received a food hygiene rating of zero following an inspection this summer.
The inspection also uncovered multiple issues with the basement kitchen, including lack of ventilation and paint peeling off the walls.
The food safety officer said that the visit, although planned, had also taken place as a result of a complaint received about the business.
His report also detailed concerns with the management and staff training.
It said: “I have issues with the management and controls that you have in place. There appears to be little, or no checks being undertaken by your staff.
“It was apparent during my inspection that the level of food hygiene awareness amongst your staff was inadequate.”
Findings also detailed a tub of crème fraîche covered in black mould, quiches being stored below the required temperature and evidence of pests, including mouse droppings on the ground floor.
Under the General Food Regulations 2004, businesses can be fined up to £20,000 for food hygiene offences.
The cafe’s basement was deemed unfit for purpose, with the floor “in poor repair” and dirty, unsuitable wall surfaces and lack of wash hand basin.
Peyton and Byrne was founded in 2005 and was co-owned by food critic and TV judge Oliver Peyton, but the business’s retail and catering arms were split up as part of a rescue deal in 2018.
The bakery previously had contracts with several high profile venues, including the British Library.
But this isn’t the first time the company has encountered issues with food hygiene. Oliver Peyton’s group was previously prosecuted in 2016 after mouse droppings were found at the firm’s bar at The Institute of Contemporary Art. The outlet has since closed.
Peyton and Byrne told Westminster Times it was “shocked” and had since taken steps advised by the food safety officer.
A spokesperson said: “We were of course shocked to receive such a low score.
“We immediately actioned the recommendations, including management training and the closing of the separate catering area downstairs.”
They added that the premises had since been reinspected and had achieved a higher score, although the bakery’s rating remains unchanged as of publication.
Main image: Westminster Times.