One-price specialist Poundworld has been fined and sharply criticised for “severe disregard for public health” after selling faulty thermometers.

The 100-store retailer, which rebranded from Bargain Centre in 2004, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,000 after digital thermometers which gave inaccurate readings and other “non-compliant medical devices” were discovered in its shops.

Poundworld continued to sell the goods even after being ordered to stop by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA).

MHRA director of devices Peter Commins said: “By knowingly placing these products not the market, Poundworld has shown a severe disregard for public health.

“The defective thermometers are not compliant with UK legislation, meaning there is no assurance that they meet appropriate standards of safety and performance.”