An Asda supermarket received a critical food hygiene report after inspectors found a squirrel and ‘gnawed’ packaging in a warehouse.
The branch has been asked to take action on a catalog of problems that are said to include bird droppings on food packaging and on the floor.
A “disappointed” official noted problems with pest control and also pointed to “apparent spills” in the storage area.
The supermarket was awarded one star out of five for food hygiene after Blaby District Council conducted four visits to the Braunstone, Leicestershire branch in March 2022.
A report sent to Asda said: “On inspection a squirrel was seen in the warehouse and traces of gnawed packaging were found on the floor.
“After reviewing the pest control records, there had been recent issues but it seemed that these had been addressed.
“The new sighting has been reported and a new round of treatment has begun.
“Birds were also seen around the warehouse and bird droppings on food packaging and the floor.”
The issues were flagged after a routine inspection under food safety laws on March 21, 2022, which led to three more visits.
Pictures taken by inspectors show untidy and untidy conditions at the warehouse, including a Cadbury Easter egg tube that appears to have the center gnawed out and an oat yogurt cup stuck in a ledge.
Other photos show boxes piled high between storage aisles and dirty nooks and crannies on the floor.
Asda said today it has taken “immediate” action to address any issues with no recent evidence of malware activity and is seeking a reassessment.
The report states: “When we first visited there was stock everywhere.
“Again, we know there have been staffing shortages lately, but stock had just been left behind and was blocking doors and aisles, making it impossible to move around the aisles in places.”
Inspectors also marked “apparent spills of food that had just been left behind,” including packets of rice, dog food, sugar and flour.
They found a range of issues at a rotisserie and pizza area, including a “dirty” walk-on floor, while a home delivery refrigerator had a “pungent odor” and milk with an expiration date of February 17, 2022.
Half-eaten children’s chocolate rabbits were also found at the warehouse, according to the redacted 3,000-word document, which was released following a Freedom of Information Act request by Metro.co.uk.
The document said: “The spills in the warehouse and the problems in the walk-in coolers were obvious and did not happen overnight, as evidenced by data from some expired groceries.
“It is evident that the checks (if at all) were not carried out thoroughly and when they were reported no action was taken.
“For example, the gnawed packaging on the warehouse floor – if that were an indication of a historical problem, it should have been cleared a few weeks ago. If the problem was new, how could it not have been noticed and reported since the bearing is regularly cleaned and randomly inspected.
“We were told that the executive team inspected the same areas that we did just the day before our inspection. Given the recent pest activity it was disappointing to find the warehouse in such condition and with such obvious pest control requirements.’
The document, sent out on March 30, lists “priority actions” to address problems at the Narborough Road South store.
The one-star rating, published live on the Food Standards Agency’s website on July 4, 2022, means “a significant improvement is needed”.
Each of the items, including food hygiene practices and pest control, were given a time frame ranging from “immediately” to six months.
An Asda spokesman said: “We take hygiene very seriously in all our stores and as soon as we were aware of the results, all recommended measures were implemented immediately.
“There is currently no evidence of pest activity and we are pleased that spills are cleaned up regularly and damaged product removed quickly to prevent pests and maintain cleanliness.
‘We are seeking a re-evaluation at our Braunstone store as soon as possible.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/07/04/asda-warned-over-squirrel-in-warehouse-and-gnawed-cadbury-wrapper-16936767/ Asda warned of squirrels in warehouse and 'gnawed' Cadbury case