An Oxford cafe which previously had a mice infestation has dramatically improved its hygiene rating.

The Art Cafe in the city centre is one of the most busy venues locally with its central location outside the Westgate shopping centre.

Oxford City Council’s Environmental Health team found major problems though during their hygiene inspection on November 20, 2023, and rated the venue two-out-of-five.

Evidence of mice was present as well as flies and other issues such as food temperature checks and broken fridges.

Oxford Mail: The Art Cafe is in the city centre of Oxford.The Art Cafe is in the city centre of Oxford. (Image: Newsquest)

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The cafe has now rectified these problems and scored a five-out-of-five hygiene rating after a reinspection on Wednesday, May 8.

Giovanna Claudino took over The Art Cafe in 2021 after becoming a partner in the business alongside her parents who founded the spot in 2009.

She was shocked to discover the mice issue and believes it is a more widespread issue in Oxford city centre.

“The pest problems are all across the city centre and we really have to be on top of it,” said Giovanna.

Oxford Mail: The Art Cafe have worked hard to rectify the issues.The Art Cafe have worked hard to rectify the issues. (Image: The Art Cafe)

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“It’s a challenge to us but there is a limit to what we can do with regard to the rodents.

“It never happened during the day because we had the outside area we do see it outside the shop.

“We hadn’t had any big problems before and we had pest control installed and we trusted the company to report back to us.

“All of the reports said that there was no activity but then we saw some activity next to the fridges.”

Oxford Mail: The cafe had previously been handed a two-out-of-five rating.The cafe had previously been handed a two-out-of-five rating. (Image: The Art Cafe)

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“We try to clean this area once a week but we found mouse droppings and that’s a really serious dropping.”

The 27-year-old is pleased with the new rating and feels it reflects the work she and her team have enacted in recent months.

“It feels good to get a five and that all the work has paid off as we had a lot of meetings when we got the low score

“We put in place a lot to ensure it doesn’t happen again and the new pest control company comes every week and have double the amount of baits.

Oxford Mail: The Art Cafe received an improved score of five this week.The Art Cafe received an improved score of five this week. (Image: The Art Cafe)

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“Different types of treatment are in place and we can assure customers that there are no rodent problems.

“We have painted all of the shelves and changed the floors as part of the improvements.

“The very big renovation also included three brand new fridges and this has helped the score rise.

“We have a good team that has been there a very long time and I also have the support of my parents so I am very happy here.”

Art Café is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year and is set to open a new location in Cheltenham later this month.