The low-cost superstore Poundworld has been fined over £15,000 after health inspectors found mice had been nibbling stock that was on sale to the public.
In October 2013, inspectors reported that “extensive mouse activity” had been found on the Lewisham premises causing damage to food that was available to the public and open to contamination. This forced a formal closure “due to imminent risk to public safety.”
Just three months later, in January 2014, a second mousy invasion forced another closure.
Poundworld Retail Limited, who own Poundworld, attended Bromley Magistrates Court on January 30 and pleaded guilty to five charges including inadequate procedures to control pests. The store has been charged £2,000 per offence, as well as £150 victim surcharge and £5,267 in costs paid to the council resulting in total fines of £15, 417.
A visit to the store by officers in October 2014 had shown that there were no new issues.
Councillor Rachel Onikosi, Lewisham Cabinet Member for the Public Realm, said: “I hope this sends a strong message to all retailers that they cannot play fast and loose with public safety. Lewisham Council will take robust action to defend consumers and ensure that retailers fulfill their legal responsibilities.”
Poundworld were unavailable for comment.