Tesco has been fined £45,000 after an overweight mouse was found gnawing chicken in one of its stores.
The so-called ‘supermouse’ was twice the size of a normal mouse and was discovered eating raw chicken at the Covent Garden branch last year.
The supermarket also received the penalty for a rotting mouse and droppings discovered in the shop.
Health inspectors were called after customers spotted mice in the aisles in March last year, the court heard.
Inspectors had said they were ‘overcome’ with the stench of rotting mice in the store’s warehouse.
Tesco earlier admitted six breaches of food-hygiene laws at the outlet in Covent Garden, central London.
A Tesco spokesman apologised after the hearing at Southwark crown court, saying the store’s manager had been replaced and staff retrained.
Mark Watson added: ‘I make an unreserved apology on behalf of the company.
‘As can be seen from the photos the conditions in the store were unacceptable.
‘Its 3,000 stores generally maintain very high standards.’