A Birmingham man has pleaded guilty to food hygiene offences after his shop was found to be selling packets of food that had been gnawed open and nibbled by mice.
Naeem Raza, company secretary of Cityway Ltd, owner of the Lifestyle Express shop, pleaded guilty at Birmingham Magistrates' Court to offences under the food hygiene regulations act for failing to keep the premises clean, failing to ensure the food was protected from contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption, and failing to have suitable procedures in place.
The case was adjourned on June 4 for sentencing.
Environmental Health officers from Birmingham City Council conducted a routine search of the shop on Moseley Road, in Balsall Heath, on June 9 2009, and found that the premises were dirty, with an extensive mouse infestation.
Mouse droppings were found throughout the premises, including on shelving on the shop floor and in boxes of food. Peanuts, flaked almonds and a box of chocolate eggs were also found to have been gnawed by mice.
The conditions were so bad that they posed an imminent risk of injury to health and the shop was closed. A revisit from Environmental Health officers two days later also revealed fresh droppings and freshly gnawed food.
Councillor Neil Eustace, chair of the Public Protection Committee at Birmingham City Council, said: "A supermarket should be providing food for customers, not for mice.
"This is another case which highlights the vigilance of Environmental Health Officers, and our determination to keep the public safe from health hazards."
The Lifestyle Express reopened after officers were satisfied that the risk of injury to health had been removed following thorough cleaning, pest-proofing work and the eradication of the mouse infestation.