Poundland fined £134k for mice infestation

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mice infestation at two of Poundland's stores cost the retailer more than £130,000
Mice infestation at two of Poundland's stores cost the retailer more than £130,000

Related tags: Birmingham

Discount retailer Poundland has been fined more than £130,000 for food safety offences, after mice were found at two of its Birmingham stores. 

Birmingham City Council prosecuted Poundland, after environmental health officers found evidence of mouse activity throughout the 1-4 Corporation Street store on February 27 2015.

Officers found mouse droppings throughout the premises, as well as a gnawed Easter egg and dirty conditions. 

Pictures taken from environmental officers showed hollow chocolate Santas that had been gnawed by mice.

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Chair of the city council’s licensing and public protection committee Barbara Dring said; “Environmental health officers found mouse droppings throughout the premises, including on shop shelves and on some food items.”

A hygiene emergency prohibition notice was issued to the store, as conditions posed an imminent risk of injury to health. Food at the store was either contaminated or at risk of contamination.

Caught 17 mice

The store was allowed to reopen on March 2 2015, after staff told environmental health officers they had caught 17 mice over the weekend.

Poundland claimed extensive building works outside the Corporation Street store was a contributing factor to increased pest activity.

However, On September 21 2015, officers visited a second Poundland store – at 512 Martineau Place, 76-77 Corporation Street – after receiving a complaint from a member of the public.

Officers found mouse droppings throughout the premises, food packaging nibbled by mice and dirty conditions. Poundland was forced to close the store.

Following a revisit on September 24 2015, the store was reopened, as the risk to health was removed.

Risk to health was removed

A Poundland spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “We’ve learned lessons from this case, co-operated fully with the local authority and reconfirm our commitment to pursuing the highest standards of health and safety for colleagues and customers.”

The Midlands-based retailer pleaded guilty of eight offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, at Birmingham Crown Court this week (January 20 2017).

Poundland was fined £134,000 and ordered to pay £18,162 towards costs plus a £120 victim surcharge.

Meanwhile, the owner of a halal butchery business has been ordered to pay more than £7,500 for nine food safety breaches​, after mouse droppings were found in a meat display and walk-in fridge.

Liverpool­-based Green Mountain Food Store owner and butcher Shafeq Nasser Al­Suraimi was fined £3,600 on January 16, after pleading guilty to the offences at Liverpool & Knowsley Magistrates Court.

Al­Suraimi was also ordered to pay £4,017.34 in costs to the council, and a £40 victim surcharge.

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