Discount Store had build up of mouse faeces
Discount chain ***** has been prosecuted after EHOs discovered a mouse infestation at a store in North London.
Islington Council EHOs inspected the branch ******** in April last year after recieving a complaint.
They found ‘clear evidence of widespread mice activity’ throughout the premises, including ‘extensive’ mouse droppings on the food shelves and a ‘distinct smell’ of rodent urine.
in addition, packaging was found to have been damaged by rodent activity to such an extent the food was spilling onto the shelves and floor. EHOs uncovered poor cleaning procedures at low levels revealling a build-up of dirt, gnawed food, and mouse faeces which ‘appeared to be congealed in mouse urine.’
***** voluntarily closed the affected food aisles to remove the contaminated stock and disinfect the area.
But two follow-up inspections over the following months revealed conditions were still poor, and EHOs served two hygeine improvement notices and recommended the firm put pest proofing in place.
the case was brought to Highbury magistrates court on 11 June ***** pleaded guilty to three offences, including failure to keep premises clean and maintained in good repair and condition, inadequate pest control procedures and failure to protect food hygeine.
The company was fined a total of £9,750, along with a victim surcharge of £120 and ordered to pay costs of £2,590.
In sentencing, the chair of the bench said the matter was ‘very serious and very disturbing’.
Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: ‘We are determined that food businesses follow the basic cleanliness and hygeine standards required by law to
help keep customers safe. Businesses failing in this duty will be held to account by the council and by the courts.”
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This case of inadequate pest control was reported in ‘EHN Extra’ the online News bulletin of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.