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Poundland fined £10k over mice infestation

Poundland has been fined £10,000 after council officials found mouse droppings and rodent urine on the shelves of one of its north London stores.

Mouse droppings on the shelves of a Poundland store in Finsbury Park Credit: Islington Council

Inspectors visited the discount retailer's shop on Seven Sisters Road after customers complained that they had seen evidence of mice in the store as they shopped.

Islington Council's environmental health team first inspected in April last year and found "clear evidence of widespread mice activity," Highbury Magistrates were told.

Rodent droppings covered the shelves in the shop on Seven Sisters Road Credit: Islington Council

Poundland closed the affected food aisles, but despite subsequent visits from inspectors in the following months, officials found more evidence of mice.

The rodents had raided the store's food packaging to the extent food was spilling onto the shelves and floor.

Poor cleaning at the store revealed "a build-up of dirt, gnawed food and mouse faeces, which appeared to be congealed in mouse urine," Islington Council said.

Not such amazing value - mice lived under the shelves in Poundland in Finsbury Park and fed off its stock Credit: Islington Council

Environmental health officers took Poundland to court and the retailer pleaded guilty on June 11 to three offences of breaching public health offences.

The store was fined £9,750, a victim surcharge of £120 and ordered Poundland to pay costs of £2,590.

In sentencing, the chair of the bench said: “This matter is a very serious and very disturbing.”

Packets of Bombay Mix on sale in Poundland on Seven Sisters Road Credit: Islington Council

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “We are determined that food businesses follow the basic cleanliness and hygiene 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.”

A Poundland spokesperson said:“Poundland takes matters relating to the health and safety of its colleagues and customers very seriously. We are working with the local Environmental Health Office to ensure adequate procedures are in place.”