MICE infestation at a Bolton cash and carry store has been described as “the worst seen by an environmental health officer in 15 years”.
Bosses from DV Cash and Carry/Derby Groceries, in Derby Street, Daubhill, were ordered by the courts to destroy food kept in the storage area which had been contaminated by mice droppings and urine.
An environmental health officer visited the premises following a tip-off and found mice running up walls and along floors in a store room.
The officer — who visited on June 19 after receiving a complaint about labelling and unhygienic food storage — reported an “overwhelming stench of urine” and “large numbers of fresh droppings on food” in a store room where food was “spilt over the floor” and some was unfit for human consumption.
The council seized all the food in the store room on June 26 and out of 11.5 tonnes, 1.5 tonnes was deemed to be unfit for human consumption because it had been contaminated by mouse droppings, mouse urine or mouse gnawed packaging.
Bolton Council also said the premises had been operating without running water for a year.
Store bosses said the storage area had since been closed.
They added the problem of infestation had not affected the shop floor.
The council applied to the courts for the 1.5 tonnes of food to be destroyed and Bolton Magistrates imposed a food condemnation order.
Chaita Karsan, speaking on behalf of his father, owner Devji Karson, said: “The food storage room has been closed down, and food is now stored in another place where there are no problems.”
He said all issues raised had been resolved.
A council spokesman added: “We work very closely with businesses and are clear in highlighting the areas where improvements to hygiene are necessary. The court ordered the costs of disposal to be met by the business operator.
“Also, it is the responsibility of the food business operator to ensure all premises associated with their food business, including storage facilities, are adequately pest-proofed.”