Discount retail giant Poundland has been slapped with a huge fine after a four-year-old girl found a multi-pack of crisps riddled with mouse poo.
The youngster made the grim discovery back in April 2017 after picking up a large bag of Monster Munch with her Mum, only to find the packets were covered in holes – with mouse droppings inside.
High street favourite Poundland was fined £159,750 on Wednesday after pleading guilty to four food safety offences, Get West London reports.
The mum contacted the council’s food safety team to express her concerns before a full investigation was carried out at the Ealing Broadway store in west London.
They found that Poundland "failed to protect food against any contamination likely to render the food unfit for human consumption", as well as failing to keep the premises clean.
According to Ealing Council, the team also found the store failed to ensure that adequate procedures were in place to control pests and did not ensure that the construction of the store allowed for good food hygiene practices.
These included protection against contamination and pest control.
A judge imposed a fine of £159,750 at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court, with Poundland agreeing to pay the council’s costs of £8,368.
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The company was also ordered to pay £150 in compensation to the customer who originally bought the food.
Councillor Joanna Camadoo, cabinet member for community safety and inclusion, said: "Food safety standards and public health are of the utmost importance and we’re delighted that the court has recognised how serious these offences are.
"It is vital that the public can have confidence in the hygiene standards in our high street shops and this fine should serve as a stark warning to all businesses, whether large or small, that if they do not comply with regulations, we will take action."
A spokesman for Poundland said: "We wish we could turn the clock back but we can’t.
"We took the opportunity today to apologise directly in court for the circumstances that led to the prosecution.
"They stemmed from practices in Ealing that were unacceptable to us.
"We took the opportunity today to reassure the court that we’ve done everything we can over the last 17 months to overhaul our approach to pest control and training
"Nothing is more important to us than the highest in-store standards."
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