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

11:28
Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council. Picture: Louise O'Gorman

Islington Council leader Richard Watts is inviting people to grill him in a Question Time-style meeting tonight.

10:34
Islington Gazette July 25, 1986

Lorry driver Stanley Frankland broke down in tears when an Old Bailey jury cleared him of murdering his rival in a “love triangle”.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Friday, July 22, 2016
MP Andy Burnham visited the New River Green Childrens Centre, in Ramsey Walk in 2013

Parents have just hours left to respond to Islington Council’s cost-cutting plans for its early childhood service, which many fear could have a damaging effect.

Friday, July 22, 2016
Service user Anna (L) with Celia from St Martin of Tours Islington (Picture: Islington Council)

What better way to enjoy the glorious sunshine than with a spot of gardening?

Thursday, July 21, 2016
Whitehall Park School has been in temporary blocks since opening in 2014. (Picture: Nigel Sutton).

Children at Islington’s £10million first free school will spend next term in a college after being forced out of their portacabins before the new building is ready.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Adrian Carpenter

A man who stabbed a teenager to death on a Finsbury Park basketball court has been found guilty of his murder.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Members of the Britannia Squash Club outside the the Sobell Leisure Centre. From left Richard Noble, Tim Denis, Tony Lewis, Carlos Lopez Barillas and Adam O'Brien. (Picture: Polly Hancock)

Dozens of squash players went on strike for a month after frustrations with a leisure centre boiled over.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

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