Dead mice, droppings and rotting food found in depot used by retailer for home deliveries
Supermarket giant Asda has apologised after being fined £300,000 when dead mice were found at its home deliver depot in Enfield.
The council’s food safety officers found the rodents at the facility in Southbury Road, Enfield, which is used to distribute the supermarket’s online delivery orders to London and parts of Essex.
They encountered dead mice and flies in the bread section, mouse droppings on shelves and a packet of cereal and a packet of sugar which had been gnawed by rodents in the home baking aisle.
They also found fly pupae shells under shelves; spilt food stuffs and rotting coriander in home delivery trays.
Asda pleaded guilty to three breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations and was sentenced last week.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Daniel Anderson, said: “It beggars belief that a national retailer would allow food to be stored in an environment where rodents are running riot.
“It is simply unacceptable for customers to be exposed to the potential risk of harm because a company cannot get its house in order and store foodstuff in a safe and hygienic manner.
“I am therefore pleased that magistrates have taken a tough stance and issued a heavy penalty.
“Hopefully it will send out a strong message to all retailers that we will not tolerate them being less than properly vigilant and ensuring their staff abide by their own stated hygiene policies to protect the health and wellbeing of their customers.”
In addition to its £300,000 fine, the supermarket was also ordered to pay nearly £5000 to Enfield Council in costs.
In a statement, Asda said the facility had improved since the officers originally visited on 27 May last year.
A spokesman said: “The conditions found at our Enfield home shopping centre in May 2016 were completely unacceptable and we are deeply sorry that on this occasion the strict processes we have in place failed at a local level.
“We would like to reassure all our customers that immediate steps were taken as soon as the issue was flagged last year to restore the high standards that our customers expect from us.”