Search

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

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

12:00

The embattled world of football was shown the way by 100 youngsters from Islington community centres who came together for a tournament in the name of peace.

Yesterday, 16:28

Islington kids got the chance to show off their moves with Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell yesterday (Thursday) as the Mayor of London rolled out the next stage of his curriculum plans for the capital’s primary schools.

Yesterday, 15:10

More than 2,500 green-minded people in Canonbury set up shop in their gardens to offload unwanted items.

Yesterday, 12:30

Developers trying to transform a Grade-II listed building into a 1,000-capacity private members club have pulled an application for a booze licence at the 11th hour after neighbours objected.

Thu, 17:23

A year ago, Jeremy Corbyn promised Islington North ‘won’t be forgotten’ after he was elected Labour leader. Twelve months on, James Morris asks community leaders across his constituency whether he has kept his word.

Thu, 13:34

A music producer told the Islington councillor who shut down Farringdon superclub Fabric: “Your decision has made me come over all rapey.”

Thu, 12:39

A radical report that recommends moving all council tenants with health issues caused by their damp, mouldy homes will go before cabinet.

Thu, 07:00

The grieving mother of a young man shot dead in a King’s Cross nightclub is today pleading for the community to name her son’s killer after a decade of silence.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

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