Jonas Roosens

TV chef fined 2,000 euro after rodent droppings are discovered at his Brussels restaurant

The telelevision chef Wim Ballieu and his company B&G Belgium have been fined after the Federal Food Inspectorate discovered rodent droppings at one of his restaurants in Brussels. Mr Ballieu denies that his restaurant has issues with mice or rats. He blames work on the sewers in the street outside his restaurant for the presence of the droppings. The unsavoury discovery was made during an inspection in 2019. 

The Brussels restaurant is one of several in the Balls & Glory chain. During their visit in 2019 the Federal Food Safety Agency inspectors discovered droppings from either mice or rats in the cellar of the restaurant. They also found food that was beyond its expiry date. Previous inspections in 2017 and 2018 had also discovered breaches of hygiene regulations at the Balls & Glory restaurant. The Judicial Authorities decided to issue Mr Ballieu with a summons.

Last month in an interview with VRT Radio 2 the TV chef said that the allegations were not true. He claimed that there were no rats or mice at his restaurant and any issues had been caused by work on the sewers near to his business. He added that a pest control company visited the restaurant every two weeks and that they had never found any mice or rats. However, he did concede that “We labelled a number of pots incorrectly as fresh produces, while they in fact should have had a later expiry date”.

The court in Ghent ruled that Mr Ballieu and his company were guilty of all charges and fined him 2,000 euro. In addition to this Mr Ballieu’s company B&G Belgium was fined 4,000 euro, 1,600 euro of which suspended. 

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