Tesco has admitted to six food hygiene offences after a “supermouse” pumped with protein, mouse droppings and dead rodents were found in the Tesco Metro store in Covent Garden.
The store has been closed after health officials reported that staff did not fix loose ceiling tiles and doors that let rodents enter the fridges.
Tesco has made an “unreserved apology” at Westminster magistrates’ court.
James Armitage, Westminster City Council’s Food Safety Manager, said: “We are very pleased with this finding.
“The judge decided that this was a sufficiently serious enough case that the fine should be more than he had the powers to give at magistrates’ court.
“That is understandable because this was one of the most concerning breaches of food safety laws we have seen in a long time. The conditions at the store were disgusting and a serious risk to health.
“It doesn’t matter if this was a sole trader or a large superstore the rules are the same in both cases. All food businesses owe it to their customers to keep their food safe and their premises clean and free from pests. These are basic hygiene requirements.
“In this case the store had a terrible mouse infestation which had been allowed to continue despite a high risk of food contamination.
“Even Tesco recognised that there had been serious failures in its own procedures that allowed the situation to get to the stage it did.”
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