Multiple supermarket operator Asda, a UK division of US retail behemoth Wal-Mart, was yesterday fined £20,000 (US$28,300) by Birmingham Magistrates’ Court for selling a chocolate cake bar which had been attacked by rodents in spring 2000.

The bar, which was resealed and sold with a “Whoops!” sticker on it, had teeth marks and rodent hair attached to it, reported the Independent newspaper.

At the time the offences were discovered in Asda’s store in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, environmental health officers discovered a large hole under a chiller unit, which was not pest-proof. Mouse droppings were found on storage shelves in the rear delivery area.

Margaret Wells, chair of Birmingham City Council’s public protection
committee, explained that pest control failings of this extent fully merited such a large fine.