Food destroyed at mouse-infested Vars store in Hessle Road, west Hull
THE entire food stock at a west Hull store had to be destroyed following the discovery of a mouse infestation.
Hull City Council's environmental health officers immediately closed Polish store Vars, on Hessle Road, and seized the contents for destruction after the infestation was discovered during a routine inspection.
The entire food safety team had to be drafted in to remove all the produce, with £2,000-worth of food destroyed.
The store, owned by Jelena Grinevica, was inspected earlier this month by two environmental health officers.
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Officers found signs of an extensive and established mouse infestation where food was stored, as well as in the main shop.
Mouse droppings were found throughout the premises and one dead mouse was discovered.
Numerous packs of food had been damaged by chewing and officers noticed a detectable odour of mouse urine on the food.
Trevor Todd, assistant head of service for public protection, said: "It is unusual to seize the entire contents of the shop, as mouse activity is usually confined to the floor and lower shelves.
"But droppings and signs of activity were found on the upper shelves as well, which is fairly unusual and is a good indication of a well-established infestation.
"To protect public health, the shop was formally closed and all of the food in the shop was seized and removed from the premises, apart from the frozen items contained in the freezers with lids."
Basic attempts at eradicating the mouse problem had been taken, but a professional pest controller had not been used and no pest-proofing measures had been taken.
In order to protect public health, the shop was formally closed with the service of a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice and the food was seized and removed.
At Hull Magistrates' Court on January 15, a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was granted to keep the premises closed until environmental health officers were satisfied the imminent risk to public health was lifted and a Food Condemnation Order was issued requiring the food seized to be destroyed.
Councillor John Hewitt, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and communities, said: "After the inspection, the food hygiene rating for this shop was zero out of five.
"I urge everyone to check these scores before eating out or doing their food shopping, to see the ratings generated by the environmental health officers."
The council has contacted Ms Grinevica in a bid to work with her so she can reopen the store.