Stock was soiled with droppings

NINE food sellers in Kirklees have had stock taken from the shelves which had come from a Bradford warehouse infested with mice.

Kirklees Council said environmental health officers had detained the food, and were currently checking other premises to ensure all goods from the Overseas Trading Company were destroyed.

The search comes after the closure of the Overseas Trading Company in the East Bowling area of the city and the destruction of 30 tonnes of produce.

Environmental health officers across the region issued a alert over contaminated food, which has been condemned as unfit for human consumption after sacks of produce were found ripped apart by mice.

Magistrates in Bradford heard that when officers first visited the warehouse the smell of rodent urine and droppings was overpowering.

A further investigation showed there was clearly an active rodent infestation on the premises.

Environmental health officers also found hundreds of packets and bags of dried food which they considered to be unfit for human consumption when they visited the warehouse earlier this month.

Officers from Bradford City Council seized and detained the food until they were able to apply for an order to condemn it.

A court order was later granted to the local authority, allowing the condemnation.

A list of customer details shows where some of the stock ended up; some as far away as Bolton and Manchester. All affected local councils have been informed.

A spokeswoman for Kirklees Council said the affected produces in the borough were dried goods, including rice, flours and beans.

The warehouse in Rutland Street is to be closed until the site or food no longer pose a health risk.

An investigation into the company was started after rodent droppings were discovered in a packet of rice it had supplied to a Leeds shop.

Environmental health officers traced the rice back to the Overseas Trading Company, which describes itself as an importer, wholesaler and distributor of tropical food.