AN OXFORD sandwich shop was closed temporarily this summer after inspectors found mouse droppings inside, no allergy information and evidence employees may not have been washing their hands.

Food hygiene inspectors from Oxford City Council visited The Oxford Sandwich Company, in the Covered Market, at the end of May.

The shop was given an overall rating of two, meaning improvement is necessary, and owners were told to take immediate action.

In a report sent to the shop after the visit, an inspector wrote: "At the time of my inspection, there was evidence of mouse activity in the shop.

"It was difficult to establish whether they were old or new droppings, however this is an indication of poor cleaning and disinfection and I am also very concerned about the absence of pest control visits."

The report also said it was 'unlikely' a sink for employees to wash their hands in had been in use in the lead-up to the inspection.

It said: "At the time of my inspection, I used the wash hand basin and it took several minutes for the hot water to come through.

"It is unlikely that the wash hand basin had been used recently.

"Although gloves were worn, [employee] did not wash her hands during the inspection, even though different tasks were performed."

It went on: "Gloves are not a substitute for hand washing as bacteria can still transfer."

Food in and below a display chiller in the shop was being stored at 15 degrees, despite regulations saying 'bacteria high-risk' food that requires chilling must be kept at temperatures below eight degrees.

There was also no allergen sign on display for customers and fridge temperatures were not being accurately monitored.

The report highlighted immediate action that needed to be taken, as well as longer term measures including sending staff on food hygiene courses.

Under 'actions required' the inspector said bosses should close temporarily and employ a pest control company to investigate for mice and to 'deep clean the business, paying attention to low level cleaning and food contact surfaces'.

Owner Samantha Bennett said the voluntary closure earlier this year lasted for three days ‘as a precaution’ against dust and mice which could have resulted from nearby demolition work for Jesus College on a £36m shops and student accommodation revamp.

She added that the unit had been checked to ensure there were no holes where mice could get into the premises.