Amazing scenes in Westminster magistrates’ court on Wednesday, as Tesco pleaded guilty to six food hygiene offences.
Poor maintenance had allowed mice to infest the food storage area of the supermarket’s Bedford Street, Covent Garden branch. Following an inspection, James Armitage, Westminster council’s food safety manager, described the situation as “one of the most concerning breaches of food safety laws we have seen in a long time”.
In court, Tesco offered an “unreserved” apology. But two things lift this story from the realms of “eww” into those of “OMFG!!!”
1) A diet of Tesco meat had allowed at least one rodent to grow to ginormous proportions, becoming what’s known as a “supermouse” (not the one with the cape).
2) A reporter at gay website Pink News had the bright idea of ringing up Stephen Green, national director of shouty religious pressure group Christian Voice, to ask what he thought. He linked the story to the supermarket’s support for gay rights:
“It’s symptomatic of the bad management of Tesco. Any company which announces its support for gay pride six weeks before Christmas obviously can’t operate basic pest control.”
Yesterday’s news follows that plague of frogs that rained down on last month’s gay pride parade. Meanwhile, local health authorities have advised any first-born sons attending Dalston Superstore to watch themselves.
UPDATE: One-time Londonist contributor Nicholas Chindaret has pointed out on Twitter that Green has been making this link since a mildly bizarre blogpost he wrote in March last year. We had thought Pink News were over-stating the situation with their headline (“Christian Voice leader: ‘Tesco support for gay rights to blame for super mouse infestation’”) – but no, Green really does seem to think the mice are a divine punishment from for Tesco’s support for gay rights. Go figure.
Photo courtesy of Bobaliciouslondon, taken from the Londonist Flickr pool