Maggots and dead rats on the menu

A rat-infested warehouse supplied food to children and the elderly at more than 150 establishments across Carmarthenshire, it has been revealed.

The county council was forced to release a list of schools, care homes and leisure facilities supplied by Pembrokeshire-based Skelfayre after a Post reporter requested details under the Freedom of Information Act.

Health inspectors found dead rats, maggots and rat faeces in or among the company's supplies last year.

Earlier this month, its directors appeared in court to face food hygiene charges. It has now emerged that every Carmarthenshire school bar one - Ysgol Dyffryn Taf in Whitland - took weekly or fortnightly deliveries of groceries, packaged and canned foods from the firm.

In the Freedom of Information report, information and data protection officer John Tillman said: "Council services in Carmarthenshire supplied with food products from the Skelfayre warehouse included school meals for primary, secondary and special schools; social care catering at residential homes, luncheon clubs, day centres, social activity centres and Meals on Wheels; staff and special function catering; and, the free primary school breakfast scheme."

Mr Tillman confirmed that Skelfayre hadcontracted to the council from September 2002. He said after Pembrokeshire Council announced its discovery of rodents at the warehouse in July 2006, all cook supervisors and cooks-in-charge were instructed to stop using Skelfayre's products." All stock previously delivered by Skelfayre was disposed of. "No further deliveries were thereafter received," he said.

Rats firm supplied 150 sites (Swansea Evening News, 29 January 2008)