Birmingham & Black Country

Fine for mouse-infested Smethwick supermarket

A supermarket has been told to pay more than £20,000 over an infestation of mice.

Nineteen mice were caught during a five-day closure of Masala Bazaar in Smethwick in the West Midlands, Sandwell Council said.

The store owners pleaded guilty to two offences of failing to protect food from rodents and their faeces and failing to control mouse activity.

A further two charges were dismissed at Dudley Magistrates Court.

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Sandwell Council, which took the case to court, said the store's closure, which was voluntary, followed the discovery of "mouse activity" in March 2015.

The supermarket, in Cape Hill Retail Centre, was ordered to pay £3,150 for each offence plus costs of £13,919.89.

A spokesman for Masala Bazaar said before this issue the store had held a five-star food hygiene rating, the highest rating from the council.

"This prosecution relates to one day in March 2015, immediately following its discovery our store voluntarily closed and the issues identified were addressed to the satisfaction of the council before reopening," he said.

"The company regrets the issue very much and since then has taken further steps to prevent a reoccurrence, including retraining the store team and replacing its previous pest control contractors."

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