Store closed over mouse infestation
26 Jun 2012
A shop was closed down on the spot and handed a fine of £1,500 after being found to have a mouse infestation.
Environmental Health Officers came to the store - called Morden Food Store on 64 London Road - on April 4 2011 after a member of the public complained that pigeons were "fouling" on fruit displayed on the pavement from their nest above the store.
When investigating this complaint, officers found a mouse infestation that was so severe they closed the shop immediately. The owner was not allowed to re-open until pest control measures had been improved, the store had been cleaned and disinfected and contaminated stock destroyed.
The store's owner, Syed Waqar Ali, pleaded guilty to nine food hygiene regulation offences at Richmond Magistrates Court.
The store reopened later in 2011 and environmental officers have been working with Mr Ali to make sure hygiene standards keep improving.
Explaining the on-the-spot closure, Councillor Andrew Judge, cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration at Merton Council, said that while officers try to avoid closing food businesses "where possible", they "could not tolerate conditions like those revealed in this case, without taking immediate action to protect the public health".
Copyright Press Association 2012