A branch of Poundworld has been fined almost £1.2 million after inspectors found an 'out of control' infestation of mice.
Council food safety officers found the shop was dirty and littered with mouse droppings, with gnawed food packaging on display and rodent urine and faeces found in a store room.
Some products' gnawed packaging had been 'repaired' with adhesive tape and returned to the shop shelves for sale.
The store in Croydon, south London, has now been fined almost £1.2 million after admitting five food safety offences and two breaches of health and safety at work regulations.
The council was alerted after a member of the public claimed to have seen evidence of a rodent infestation on the shopfloor of the store in February 2016.> Officers visited and found the infestation, before consulting with the store management, who agreed to immediately stop the sale of food.> The basement and storage areas were also found to be contaminated with mouse droppings, while some areas were too dark.> The goods lift was out of order, forcing staff members having to manually carry goods up to the shopfloor, and no risk assessment had been carried out for this.> There was also no hot water, inadequate heating and poor housekeeping, which resulted in stock being left in a haphazard and dangerous manner.> Poundworld was bought by Poundworld Bidco Ltd in May 2015 on behalf of funds controlled by TPG Capital, a global private equity investment firm with assets worth more than £57 billion.> Court-requested details of TPG were "respectfully declined" by the defendant's counsel after he said Poundworld, TPG and other companies are not linked organisations.