Revealed: Why Tesco in Morning Lane stank for two months

Tesco in Morning Lane. Picture: David Holt/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0

Tesco in Morning Lane. Picture: David Holt/Flickr/Creative Commons licence CC BY 2.0 - Credit: Archant

Shoppers browsing the aisles in Tesco last week were “assaulted” by an “overwhelming smell of s***” due to a blocked drain in the store.

The stench in the Morning Lane supermarket was so bad that two weeks ago a woman had to dump her basket and leave – a luxury not afforded to the poor staff working for hours on end.

Grazyna-Maria Edwards explained: “On entry to the shop you got assaulted by the stench of blocked drains which permeated throughout the premises.

“I spoke to staff and they were all complaining about it. One woman said they had to use air freshener to survive. And customers had to buy their food with an overwhelming smell of s***.”

She added she had reported the aroma several times over the course of a week.

“It went on for quite a while,” she said. “I was really angry.

“I retched. I thought it was just at the entrance but I started walking around looking at food and it just smelled like s***.

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“I had to leave my shopping and walk out.”

A letter from Hackney mayor Phil Glanville to a complaining customer, seen by the Gazette, revealed an environmental health officer visited the store to speak to bosses about the smell on January 6.

He also said the stench was caused by blocked toilets, due to “inappropriate materials” being flushed down them.

The store now closes from 8pm to 8am with security guards stationed outside.

Thankfully, after a couple more visits from environmental health, the blockage was cleared with no food safety issues having occurred.

Hackney’s community safety boss Cllr Caroline Selman said: “Our environmental health team visited Tesco in Morning Lane last week following queries from local residents.

“It was found that a drain was blocked which caused the smell. There were no food safety issues and Tesco has unblocked the drain to sort the situation.”

A Tesco spokesman said: “We hold extremely high standards in our stores and when this problem was identified we worked hard to fix it quickly.

“We would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused.”