Routine inspection leads to immediate closure of restaurant with cockroach infestation

Cockroach 1
An Indian restaurant owner has been fined more than £40,000 after council officers discovered an infestation of cockroaches and mice.

Restaurant Dhaka Biryani in Mile End was closed down immediately following a routine inspection carried out in July 2016.

Having established the restaurant was not registered on the Food Safety System, the council’s Environmental Health team visited the premises as a routine inspection.

In carrying out a full food hygiene inspection, officers found a severe infestation of cockroaches and mice.

Environmental Health Officers found cockroaches brazenly appearing in the well-lit kitchen in droves despite typically being nocturnal indicating that the problem had been deep-rooted and longstanding. Closer inspection revealed that a mouse infestation also existed as the restaurant had mouse droppings littered throughout the shelves where food was stored and on a chopping board, plastic cups and spoons. Records show that the restaurant had been previously warned about the problems by their pest control contractor but failed to take appropriate action. 

Cockroaches can spread diseases such as dysentery, gastroenteritis, typhoid and polio and their faeces can cause allergic reactions, especially amongst sensitive people.

Officers had no option but to close the restaurant due to an imminent risk to health. Following a further visit from Environmental Health officers the premises reopened after a few weeks when the Council was satisfied that the pests had been completely eliminated.  The Council turned down earlier requests by the restaurant owner to re-open due to the risk of cockroaches still being visibly present.

Last month owner Mr Shahadat Hossain, of Colebert Avenue, Bethnal Green, pleaded guilty to 4 counts of food hygiene at Thames Magistrates and was ordered to pay a fine of £40,000.

Cllr Amina Ali, cabinet member for Environment, said: “We remind all food retailers of the importance of hygiene, and will take enforcement action when retailers are in breach of the law.  The Council would urge residents and visitors to review the food hygiene ratings of their favourite restaurants to encourage compliance with food safety. “

If you suspect a business to be falling foul of food hygiene legislation, contact the council on 020 7364 5008 or email foodsafety@towerhamlets.gov.uk.  Food hygiene ratings can be displayed on the door or can be found online at: http://ratings.food.gov.uk/

Posted on Friday 13th October 2017