The flagship central London branch of Thorntons chocolate shop has been shut due to a “serious” mouse infestation.
The chocolatier’s Oxford Street branch was closed down by Westminster Council after an inspection revealed an infestation of mice and evidence of rats.
A council spokeswoman said the shop was closed by after a complaint from a member of the public because of a risk customers could become ill from food bought there.
She added: “An officer found a serious infestation of mice, evidence of rats and poor maintenance of routine cleaning resulting in actual food contamination.
“This is severe enough for us to formally close the premises as there was a risk of customers becoming ill if the contaminated food was consumed.
“Thorntons will need to undertake work to deal with the pest infestation, prevent further entry by pests, clean and disinfect the premises and dispose of all contaminated food.”
Thorntons is one of the UK’s best-known confectioners with 247 branches across the country.
The incident at the Oxford Street branch comes weeks after the company revealed it enjoyed an “outstanding” Christmas period.
A Thorntons spokesman said: “Thorntons confirms that it has closed its Oxford Street outlet after a problem was identified during the most recent regular and routine inspection. The problem is being rectified and we are working with the council to ensure that we can reopen the store as soon as possible.”
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