Two Waltham Forest food businesses have been closed by council environmental health inspectors who found their lax hygiene standards had resulted in pest infestations and dangerously unclean kitchens.
On Wednesday 15 August officers visited Yildirim Bakery, 15 St James St, Walthamstow, E17 7PJ, and found that the premises was infested with German cockroaches scuttling around the filthy store. They immediately closed the shop, and Thames Magistrates’ Court granted the Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order and awarded costs of£864 to the council.
In a separate case, Lagos Island Restaurant, 417 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, E10 7AA was closed after officers found an infestation of cockroaches, as well as evidence of mice. The kitchen was extremely dirty and officers concluded the risk to public health was too high to allow the restaurant to remain open. The Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was confirmed by Thames Magistrates’ Court, who awarded the council costs of £1,106.63 in light of the severe hygiene failings at Lagos Island.
Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “People should be able enjoy eating out, safe in the knowledge they will be served well cooked food that has been prepared with care and attention. However, a minority of businesses treat their hygiene obligations as suggestions rather than rules they must follow.
“The message to restaurant or takeaway owners is clear: You have a duty of care to make sure the food you serve has been prepared in clean kitchens, that ingredients are correctly and safely stored, and that your premises are free of pests or infestation. If you do not meet these obligations we will find out, your business will be closed, and we will seek court costs.”
The most commonly found types of cockroach in the UK are the German and Oriental varieties. They can carry food germs on their bodies and can spread diseases such as dysentery and gastroenteritis. Cockroaches feed on almost anything, including faecal matter.
Residents and business owners in Waltham Forest can get help from the council’s Servicestore, who offer pest control treatments on a range of common infestations including cockroaches, fleas, and mice amongst others.
When a food business is closed by environmental health officers the owners must make significant improvements before it can be reopened. Inspectors must be satisfied that any risk to public health has been removed. Yildirim has subsequently been allowed to reopen.
Diners can check the hygiene rating of any restaurant or takeaway before they eat by checking the Food Standards Agency’s online hygiene rating tool.