Asda was forced to pay over £27,000 in fines because of a mouse that was snapped by health inspectors snacking on some chocolate .
The incident was spotted by a customer at the Asda supermarket on Lavender Hill, near Clapham Junction, south London .
Environmental officers were soon on the scene after the customer had informed the Wandsworth Council and they photographed the mouse eating another chocolate bar and found mice droppings.
Asda pleaded guilty to four offences under the Food And Safety Act and was ordered be pay a fine of £18,000 and £9,420 in costs.
The Prosecutor for Wandsworth Council, Samantha Riggs, told Kingston Crown Court that a customer was leaving the shop at 4.30pm on June 14th in 2005 when she spotted a rodent feasting on chocolate .
The horrified woman alerted a shop worker about the rat and was allegedly told, “Shush, madam! We’re dealing with the problem!”
To make matters worse a dead mouse was found inside the store’s bakery.
Ms Riggs said, “The floor was littered with mouse droppings and mouse-chewed cake wrappers. A dead mouse was found behind the oven .”
A complaint was made by a friend of the woman who phoned the store, and the next day two council-environmental health officers made their way to Asda for an inspection.
When the officers approached the duty manager about the state of the store he said he would call city pest control to deal with it, but it hadn’t been done.
An Asda spokesman said, “We let ourselves and our customers down.”
“We have to accept that no matter how good a system works, it can only be as good as the human beings putting it into force,” he added.