Search

Health food chain fined over mouse droppings on shelves in Islington store

PUBLISHED: 15:52 21 September 2012

nibbled nuts at Holland and Barrett

nibbled nuts at Holland and Barrett

Archant

Major health food chain Holland & Barrett has been fined £30,000 after mouse droppings were found between packets of popcorn on sale at an Islington branch.

The firm was accused of “putting the public’s health at risk” after inspectors also found rat faeces at the Upper Street store, along with shelves and packets that were sticky with what is thought to be mouse urine.

There was a strong odour of mouse urine, they said, while packs of nuts and seeds had been gnawed open.

The company was handed a bill of £32,342 in fines and costs after pleading guilty to seven food hygiene offences at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court last week.

Horrified shopper Katie Shuford, 26, said: “That’s awful, especially considering it’s a health food store.

“I’ll have to take my business elsewhere.”

The catalogue of breaches came to light when Islington Council environmental health officers carried out surprise inspections on November 24 and December 1 and 2 last year.

The offences included contamination and failures to keep the premises clean, to ensure adequate procedures to control pests and to train staff properly.

On the first visit, inspectors found mouse droppings on shelves and underneath counters, but it appears little was done to improve the situation.

More mouse faeces were found on both following visits, some in between packets of popcorn, as well as rat droppings in a stockroom on December 1.

Instructions to put food packets in lidded containers were ignored.

Cllr Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “By ignoring our environmental health officers’ repeated interventions, the store put the public’s health at risk.

“The size of the fine shows how seriously the judge took this breach of public health.”

A Holland & Barrett spokesman said: “We are deeply disappointed in the failings in our risk management systems which allowed this to happen.

“Health and safety remains a priority for our customers and employees, and we hope to have significantly moved on since this event.”

0 comments

Latest Islington News Stories

07:55

A corrupt former prison officer from Clerkenwell has been sentenced after she was caught smuggling 117 grams of cannabis and four phones into a young offenders’ institution.

Yesterday, 14:06

A schizophrenic man who stabbed a Holloway teenager to death at their hostel has been given a hospital order after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

Yesterday, 12:49

“The Arsenal wants to knock down homes and expand its capacity by nearly a third. Most people in the community, even if they are fervent Gunners fans, don’t want to see homes demolished to make the people who own the Arsenal even richer. We can stop our community being wrecked if we begin a campaign now.”

Yesterday, 10:18

A man was stabbed in Essex Road last night.

Yesterday, 08:15

A suitcase, believed to be carrying a bomb, was dumped outside Islington Labour headquarters – where Jeremy Corbyn had an office.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Football is still prejudiced against LGBT people. But Arsenal’s huge Gay Gooners fan club is fighting this. The Gazette speaks to chairman Dave Raval.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Green and Lib Dem candidates are no threat to Labour in Islington – despite warning signs the party’s stance on Brexit could damage it locally, a senior party source has insisted.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The headteacher of a special education needs school will be pounding the streets of London for a charity which is close to her heart.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now