Mouse infestation forced newsagent to shut up shop

TN Brother Newsagents on 160 Mapledene Road, E8 was ordered to close by Hackney Council Environmental Health Officers on 4 June 2008. The emergency action followed the discovery of a heavy mouse infestation and poor hygienic conditions, during an inspection, which was prompted by a complaint from a member of the public.

When they inspected the premises, the officers found mice droppings on the floor, on food shelves and on several food items. Packets of rice were also found gnawed and some had mice droppings inside the packets. There were no formal procedures in place to monitor the pest problem and a pest control contract had not been set up. As well as the evidence of mice, the shelves in the shop were dirty and some of the food items on sale were past their ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates.

A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice was served on the day and the shop was ordered to close because there was imminent risk to health.

Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “Closing down this business was the only action the Environmental Health Officers could take. Rodents carry harmful germs such as salmonella. The risk to public health was very significant.”

The business has now been allowed to re-open following significant improvements, noted during an inspection by Environmental Health Officers on Friday 13 June 2008. The shop was formally closed for nine days; from 4 June 2008 until Friday 13 June 2008.

For information on Food Safety, contact Hackney Council’s Environmental Health team on 0208 356 4911.