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Poundworld faces £500,000 fine for 'selling food covered in mouse urine and droppings'

Poundworld has been accused of selling food “unfit for human consumption” and is facing a £500,000 fine after shoppers allegedly bought product covered in mouse urine and droppings, a court heard.

Health inspectors allegedly found mice “swarming” throughout the outlet and its basement when they visited the budget store in Central Shopping Centre, Croydon, last year.

The company has been charged with failing to comply with 11 food safety and health and safety regulations, Croydon Magistrates’ Court heard.

“The way the prosecution put the case fines upwards of half a million pounds would be the likely consequences,” Simon Kiely, prosecutor for Croydon Council, said.

It is claimed Poundworld failed to keep its Croydon outlet clean and did not maintain Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) principles.

The company has further been accused of failing to maintain health, safety and welfare standards at work for their staff after inspectors found there was no heating or hot water at the store for employees to wash their hands.

There was also poor lighting and no thermometers to regulate the temperature.

A spokesperson for Poundworld told The Independent: “We take our responsibilities as a retailer very seriously but cannot comment on, ongoing proceedings.”

In 2015, the company was fined over £63,000 for selling non-reflective hi-vis jackets, with the logo “be safe, be seen”.

Tests conducted by trading standards on one of the jackets concluded its reflectivity was no more than 2.4 per cent of what it should have been. The discount retailer had at the time already sold more than 95,000 vests for £1 each.

Source - Independent
April 2017