Iceland is looking to reassure customers after it was fined more than £400,000 following the discovery of mouse droppings and gnawed food in two Merton stores.

Last year Merton Council carried out unannounced inspections of the Morden and Mitcham stores following complaints from customers that bread and crisps had been gnawed on by the rodents.

Subsequent investigations forced both stores to each close for a week after it became clear that mice activity was indeed prevalent.

At Wimbledon Magistrate’s Court on August 13 this year, Iceland pleaded guilty to three offences of placing unsafe food on the market and one offence of failing to keep the premises clean at their Mitcham Store. One offence of placing hazardous food on the market and one offence of failing to keep the premises clean at their Morden store.

At the same court on November 21, Iceland was fined £70,000 for each offence, making a total fine of £420,000. The court awarded the council costs of £10,100 and ordered Iceland to pay a victim surcharge of £170.

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Now Iceland has said that extensive works have been carried out to make sure the problem does not reoccur.

“We aim for the highest standards in all our stores and deeply regret the issues at our Mitcham and Morden stores in 2017," a spokesman for Iceland said.

"We immediately deep cleaned both stores and have strengthened their rodent proofing to guard against any recurrence. Our total investment in both stores during the last year exceeds £500,000.

“We fully co-operated with the local Environmental Health Officers who were satisfied with the improved standards and preventative measures we have taken, and recent reports all demonstrate good levels of food safety controls.

"We hope that our customers are reassured by these positive actions and that they will continue to shop at Iceland with confidence.”