A SHOP has been handed the largest food hygiene fine in the town's history, for offences that included food contaminated by mouse urine and droppings being put sale to the public.

Poundworld, 37 Queensmere Shopping Centre, Slough, was ordered to pay £350,000 for failing to protect food against contamination, along with £2,923 costs to Slough Borough Council (SBC).

SBC initially issued Poundworld with a caution in March 2017 following a mouse infestation in October 2016. The store closed voluntarily to address their mice problem, with the support of the council.

However, an environmental officer visited Poundworld again in 2017 to follow up a complaint from a member of the public alleging mouse activity in the store. The officer discovered bags of pork scratchings on sale to the public, that had been damaged by mice and contaminated with mouse urine and droppings.

SBC attended a hearing at Reading Magistrates' Court on August 3, where Poundworld was handed the fine. Poundworld did not attend the hearing.

Cllr Pavitar K Mann, cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: "Our food and safety team work closely with local businesses, providing the support they need to improve their standards of food hygiene.

"If retailers do not raise their standards and continue to perform poorly, we have no choice but to take action to protect the public from risk, including taking persistent offenders to court.

"Despite our support and advice, Poundworld continued to perform poorly, posing a potential threat to the health of the public.

"I dread to think how many people may have bought contaminated food from this store and hopefully this large fine will serve as a warning to other businesses in Slough thinking of ignoring food hygiene regulations."

To report any concerns about food safety and hygiene, contact the SBC food and safety team on foodandsafety@slough.gov.uk.