Poundland sues council after being shut over mice

A shopper said bread had been nibbled by rodents. Picture: Ian Georgeson
A shopper said bread had been nibbled by rodents. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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A BARGAIN discount store is taking the council to court after being forced to close over a mouse infestation.

Poundland in Nicolson Street shut its doors for one day – and was banned from selling food for ten days – earlier this year after health inspectors paid a snap visit amid customer reports of mice skirting between the aisles.

But now disgruntled Poundland bosses are taking legal action against the city for loss of earnings while the shop was prevented from selling food.

A source close to the environmental health investigation told inspectors found that the the shop had been “overrun” with mice following a customer complaint about packets of bread being nibbled through by rodents.

They said: “The council was called out to visit – and when inspectors got there it became immediately apparent that there was a problem.

“They were banned from selling food until inspectors returned, but they shut up shop for a day through their own choice and then reopened.”

It is thought Poundland closed the food aisles for more than a week to clean up the store and improve pest control.The rest of the store remained fully operational.

The source added: “I don’t think the council could legally tell them to close the whole shop.”

A spokeswoman for the city council declined to comment on the issue as a result of the ongoing legal action.

A Poundland spokeswoman said: “Poundland is ­currently engaged in proceedings regarding the service of a statutory notice at the Nicolson Street store.

“These proceedings are ongoing and as such it would not be appropriate to say ­anything further at this time.”

The legal battle between the city and Poundland is set to be heard at Edinburgh Sheriff Court later this month.

Poundland – which operates four stores across the Capital – has previously fallen foul of environmental health inspections.

In 2012, a Poundland store in Croydon, London, was criticised after it was claimed that staff had put biscuits and sweets back on the shelves after they had been chewed by mice.

According to reports, shop workers used sticky tape to reseal the food and sell it on to customers, despite the store being overrun with the rodents and contaminated with mouse droppings and urine.

Poundland admitted five food and hygiene breaches and was fined £24,000 and also ordered to pay £2910 costs.