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By Damien Gayle

Asda has been fined £300,000 after dead mice and flies were discovered in the aisles of a home delivery depot that distributes food to online shoppers across London and Essex.

The supermarket chain pleaded guilty to three breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 after inspectors found the dead vermin alongside mouse droppings and pupae shells at its distribution centre in Enfield, north London.

Spilt foodstuffs, rotting coriander and gnawed cereal and sugar packets were also discovered. Asda, a subsidiary of the US retail giant Walmart, was also ordered to pay costs of £4,843.61 to Enfield council.

The dead mice and flies were discovered in the bread section, mouse droppings on shelves and the gnawed cereal and sugar packets in the home baking aisle when the site was inspected on 27 May last year.

An Asda spokesperson said in a statement that the company was “deeply sorry” for the “completely unacceptable” standards at Enfield. “On this occasion the strict processes we have in place failed at a local level,” the statement said. “We would like to reassure all our customers that immediate steps were taken as soon as the issue was flagged last year to restore the high standards that our customers expect from us.”
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