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Council welcomes large food hygiene fine

Page last updated at 13 May 2016 at 07:49

A national company held accountable for an extensive mouse infestation at their Eastleigh store received fines and costs in excess of £102,000 at Southampton Crown Court today. 

The prosecution was brought following a routine food hygiene inspection at the 99p Store in the Swan Centre, Eastleigh town centre in January 2015.   Officers from Eastleigh Borough Council’s Environmental Health team identified a mouse infestation in the store’s warehouse that dated back to at least September 2014.  There were large numbers of mouse droppings and evidence of food being gnawed.  The warehouse was so overstocked the company’s pest control contractor couldn’t carry out proper inspections and their concerns were not followed up.

99p Stores Ltd entered guilty pleas for two food hygiene offences relating to the mouse infestation and one relating to a health and safety matter.   The court imposed fines of £90,000 against 99p Stores Ltd and awarded the Council costs of £12,492.

Councillor Anne Winstanley, Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing and Environmental Health, said:  “We are pleased that the court recognised the seriousness of these offences and that this was reflected in the fines and costs handed out to 99p Stores Ltd.  She added, “It is a tribute to the council team’s professionalism and dedication to protecting public health that this case has been brought to a successful conclusion.”

The 99p Store in Eastleigh’s Swan Centre complex, is now under the ownership of Poundland who have carried out extensive improvements to the store.