Tesco has been fined £23,000 for food hygiene failures after selling a bagel that had been gnawed by rodents.

Following a complaint from a member of the public, the City of London’s Environmental Health Department found the shelves of a Tesco Express store at Holborn Viaduct in London were covered in rodent droppings and urine.

The retail giant was yesterday fined £20,000 for putting a bagel on the market that was unsafe for human consumption, plus an additional £3,000 penalty for failing to protect its premises from contamination by rodents.

“We take hygiene issues extremely seriously and carry out regular checks, including pest control, in all our stores,” a Tesco spokesman told the Daily Telegraph. “We are considering our options following the decision.”