Company appears in court for hygiene offences

Merton’s investigation leads to £11,000 fine

Merton Council’s Environmental Health Team has successfully prosecuted Somerfield Stores Limited for hygiene offences at its Mitcham supermarket.

Following a complaint by a member of public that a packet of crisps bought from the store had been nibbled by mice, the Environmental Health team investigated and discovered very poor standards of hygiene including mouse droppings and a dead mouse.

The company pleaded guilty to two offences under the Food Safety Act before Wimbledon Magistrates on 5 September and was fined £7,500 for selling unfit food and £3,500 for poor hygiene in the shop. It was also ordered to pay Council costs of £4,000.

Merton’s Commercial and Trading Standards Manager, Wendy Martin, said: “This case was an important victory and highlights the fact that Merton will not hesitate in investigating and prosecuting companies, no matter what their size, if they are putting resident’s safety into question.”