A London food store was so badly infested with mice and insects it was shut down on the spot for being “an unacceptable risk to public health”.
Inspectors from Wandsworth Council found chewed food packets, including a pack or Oreo cookies, still on sale at the Punjab Superstore amid an infestation of larder beetles and Pharaoh ants.
They also witnessed a large mouse running across the shop floor and found rodent droppings and urine on shelves, cupboards and in food stores.
Local magistrates backed the closing of the store which has since reopened after pest controllers and cleaners blitzed and disinfected the premises, in Garratt Lane, for six days. They also dumped bags of contaminated food.
Councillor Jonathan Cook said: “This grocery shop was in a very poor state and posed an unacceptable risk to public health.
“Shopkeepers and business owners should not be under any illusion at all about the dire consequences of allowing standards to fall so badly.
“As well as all the income lost while the shop was closed and the significant outlay required to get the business back to an acceptable level of hygiene, there is also the cost of all the stock that had to be thrown out.
“Food shops and businesses need to maintain the very highest standards of hygiene, cleanliness and safety if they don’t want to suffer the same fate.”
It is reminding consumers they can check food safety ratings in the south London borough by visiting www.wandsworth.gov.uk/foodsafety
No-one from the shop was prepared to comment.