Three restaurants closed in two months over health fears (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Three restaurants closed in two months for public safety in Waltham Forest
A third restaurant has been closed by the council in two months because of a risk to public health.
The Village Food Court/Mauritian Spot in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, was closed this week after the council found German cockroaches near open prepared food and power sockets.
There were also mouse droppings and evidence of mice nesting in the storage area among vegetables.
A spokesman for Waltham Forest Council said: “The outlet was dirty, especially in the food preparation areas, and there was a poor standard of hygiene.”
Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for the environment, said: “The photos taken on the premises by our officers tell a sorry tale of neglect.”
The closure comes just weeks after Aadams Bagel Bakery, also in Hoe Street, was shut down for the second time on July 26.
Officers from the council's environmental health team discovered rat droppings under a preparation table, a situation Cllr Loakes described as “truly sickening”.
In the same month Chicks Chicken and Pizza in Station Road, Chingford was closed after a member of the public reported seeing a cockroach on the wall.
German cockroaches were also found in the paper towel dispenser, in trunking to power sockets, behind broken tiles in the wall and on the hanging knife holder. A dead crane fly was also found on a piece of cooked chicken.
This high frequency of closures in the interests of public health raises concerns about an epidemic of poor hygeine across the borough.
Cllr Loakes believes it points instead towards a proactive approach.
He said: “The recent spate of closures illustrates our zero tolerance approach to those businesses that do not take hygiene issues as seriously as they need to.
"If necessary, where food outlets fall short we will use the courts to shut them down for the safety of our residents."
“Obviously working with businesses to achieve best practice around hygiene and identifying those that present a potential health risk are the primary goals of our Food and Safety Team.
"But the pro-active approach we take is also important to send a message to residents that poor establishments are under scrutiny, and to businesses that they need to be mindful of the fact that complacency around hygiene issues is simply not an option.”
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