A company has been charged with food safety and hygiene offences and accused of stocking hotdogs which had been “gnawed and partially eaten by rodents”.

Samy Ltd faces the four charges as the operator of Budgens on Premier Parade, Fairfield, Stockton.

First, it is accused of putting unsafe food on the market – making two packets of “smoked hotdogs that had been heavily gnawed and partially eaten by rodents” available for sale. It is alleged this breached food regulations from 2004.

The firm, of Corporation Road, central Middlesbrough, is also charged with three offences of failing to comply with food safety and hygiene regulations from 2013.

It is alleged it failed to put adequate procedures in place to control pests, failed to protect against contamination, particularly pest control in a food preparation area, and failed to keep the kitchen clean and in good repair and condition. The charges all date to September 8 last year.

The charges state: “Evidence was obtained of rodent activity within the kitchen where food was being prepared, handled and stored, namely rat droppings on the floor and behind equipment, rodent smear marks on the wall and rodent-damaged stock and packaging.

“There were two holes to the kitchen wall that communicated into the wall cavity allowing rodents access in the kitchen used for food preparation, handling and storage at the premises… The structure in the food preparation area were not kept clean and in a good state of repair as there were rodent droppings on the floor of the premises.”

Samy Ltd has not yet entered any pleas to the charges, and no one representing the company was at Teesside Magistrates’ Court for the case’s first hearing on Tuesday (August 15).

Natalie Hodgson, prosecuting for Stockton Council, said: “It’s a prosecution that we’re bringing against Samy Ltd in relation to a dirty kitchen.”

She said they had recently been contacted by a London solicitors’ firm: “They confirmed they would represent Samy Ltd in the matter and have asked that we possibly adjourn the matter for them to take instructions and attend.”

Marion Kitt, chairing the magistrates’ bench, agreed and the case was adjourned to a further hearing on September 12.