Squeaky unclean: Dirty, massive ‘super mouse’ lands Tesco supermarket with £45,000 fine
Customers complained about branch with rotting rodent corpses in fridge and ‘unbearable’ smell
Monday 23 September 2013
Tesco was hit with a £57,000 court bill on Monday after a “super mouse” was discovered in a filthy store plagued by an extreme rodent infestation.
A health inspector spotted the oversized mouse – which had been gorging on protein and leaving unusual pink droppings – in a food crate at the Tesco Metro shop in Covent Garden, where 55,000 customers shop each week.
Rotting rodent corpses were also unearthed in the dairy fridge in the Bedford Street store’s warehouse, emitting an “unbearable” smell and causing a “large risk of contamination” to food, a court heard. Mouse droppings were found on the shop floor, as well as on bakery packaging.
Food waste was also discovered across the store’s warehouse and storage areas, while the floors were covered in grease and dirt.
Customers alerted Westminster City Council after spotting mice scurrying across the shopfloor on 23 March last year. Environmental health officers warned staff there was a mouse infestation, but they left it to the cleaner before a second inspection three days later.
Ordering Tesco to pay £45,000 in fines with £11,822 costs at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “One might have expected the company to react vigorously but it did not.
“Nothing happened over the weekend and when officers returned the following Monday, a further complaint was made by a member of the public and the situation was the same if not worse.
“It is remarkable that something like this should occur within an organisation such as Tesco, which has to be so careful with it’s reputation. But I am satisfied this was a local and specified failure of management and one that has been dealt with.”
Tesco had pleaded guilty to six food hygiene offences at an earlier hearing.In a statement, the supermarket conceded the standard of cleaning fell below acceptable levels but said robust health and safety procedures had now been put in place. “Pest control is one of our biggest priorities and we regret the pest problem was not resolved more quickly,” it said.
James Armitage, Westminster City Council’s Food Safety manager, said: “The sentence recognises the seriousness of what was a flagrant breach of food safety laws. It doesn’t matter if it is a sole trader or a large superstore, the rules are the same.”
Marvel has released the first teaser trailer a week early after it leaked online
- 1 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 2 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 3 Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Ottawa shooting: Canadian soldier dies after being shot at National War Memorial – with one gunman killed inside parliament
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali 2014: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£90 - £140 per day + Mileage and Expenses: Randstad Education Leeds: Sixth for...
£95 - £105 per day: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Plymouth i...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer -...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits and bonus: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer ...