Morden shop pays the price

Morden Food Store at 64 London Road was hit with a fine of over £1,500 after a mouse infestation.

Owner Mr Syed Waqar Ali pleaded guilty to nine offences under the food hygiene regulations at Richmond Magistrates Court on Tuesday 12 June.

Merton’s environmental health officers visited the shop on Monday 4 April last year in response to a complaint from a member of the public that pigeons nesting on the front of the building were ‘fouling’ the open fruit displayed on the pavement below.

An inspection discovered a severe mouse infestation throughout the entire shop. The situation was so bad that the shop was closed on the spot and not allowed to open until improved pest control measures had been put in place. Contaminated food had to be destroyed with the premises thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

The shop reopened later the same year with environmental officers continuing to work positively with the owner to ensure standards continue to improve.

Cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge said: “Our environmental health officers do their utmost to work with food businesses and restaurants to avoid closure where possible. However, on behalf of the public, we will not tolerate conditions like those revealed in this case, without taking immediate action to protect the public health.”