Liverpool supermarket with stock ‘visibly gnawed’ by rodents fined for serious hygiene breaches
Food items had been ‘visibly gnawed’ by rodents.
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A Liverpool supermarket that put members of the public at risk has been fined almost £6,000, after continuing to serve customers despite being infested with mice.
Sun Market Liverpool on Prescot Road was handed the fine at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court, after pleading guilty to breaching four food safety and hygiene regulations.
A spokesperson for Liverpool Council described how Environmental Health officers found the premises in a severe state, and despite the conditions, the shop continued to serve customers.
The local authority said ‘mouse droppings were discovered throughout, on surfaces and under shelving units’ and ‘around 20 food items had been visibly gnawed’.
Environmental health visit: Sun Market Liverpool was visited by officers on December 6, 2021, who noted that a ‘clear lack of cleaning’ ensured the food debris provided rodents with a readily available food source, and a number of gaps and holes in the building provided rodents with easy entry points.
Conditions were so severe, the shop was immediately shut down due to the ‘imminent risk to health’, as mice are known carriers of diseases including; salmonella, campylobacter, listeria and hantavirus which can cause serious illness, especially to vulnerable people such as children, the elderly, immunocompromised and those who are pregnant.
During the closure period, a number of bait devices had been eaten, which confirmed there was still an on-going pest problem within the premises.
Second inspection: After the shop carried out remedial works, inspectors revisited the venue on December 13, 2021 and agreed that the shop could reopen.
Hygiene rating: Based on the initial findings, Sun Market Liverpool was awarded the lowest food hygiene rating of zero – which signifies urgent improvement is necessary. However, following an inspection in October 2022, it currently holds a food hygiene rating of ‘2’ which indicates improvement is necessary.
Fine: Sun Market Liverpool Ltd pleaded guilty to breaching four food safety and hygiene regulations and was fined £2,800, with a surcharge of £190, and costs of £3,000 awarded to Liverpool City Council.