SUPERMARKET giant Sainsbury’s has been accused of breaching food hygiene laws after allowing mice to chew through food packaging and leave droppings and trails of urine on shop shelves.
In a criminal hearing at Ednburgh sheriff court today, the firm entered no plea in relation to four separate charges relating to a store in Edinburgh.
One charge said that: “Food was not protected against contamination likely to render the food unsafe for human consumption..
“Food displayed for sale was not suitably protected against contamination as packets of dry foodstuffs bore markings consistent with having been chewed through by mice.”
Further charges alleged mouse droppings and trails of urine had been found on food shelves, and that no hot water was present in sinks near deli counters at the same store, in the city’s Craigleith Road.
A further charge said that Sainsbury’s “did fail to ensure that the food premises were kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition”.
It continued: “Namely accumulations of mouse droppings and trails of urine were present on shelving displaying dry foodstuffs for sale.”
Another charge said that the supermarket “did place unsafe food on the market, namely you did display for sale food in packaging which had been gnawed open by mice.”
The final charge read that the supermarket broke regulations since there was “no hot running water at the cash hand basins and sinks located at the delicatessen, bakery, hot food and butchery counters.”
All four charges describe offences which allegedly took place on 10 February this year.
No solicitors from the firm were present in the court, though fiscal depute Anna Murphy agreed for the case to be continued without plea.
Sheriff Frank Crowe fixed the date of 18 January next year for the case to be heard again.