A Middle-Eastern restaurant has been closed after a shocking infestation of mice, cockroaches and rats were found on the premises.

In early January food officers from Waltham Forest Council visited Ruby's Grill on High Road, Leyton.

They were confronted with the rank site of rat droppings, cockroaches in a box of protective chef's headgear and rancid grease dripping from pipes in the kitchens next to where food was being prepared for customers.

The health and safety officers served a special health and safety prohibition order on the restaurant to prevent people from walking across an upstairs floor where rats had gnawed beams posing a risk of a ceiling collapse.

Thames Magistrates' Court confirmed the closure on January 9 and awarded the council costs of £1021.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: “Our officers have started the year as they mean to go on. Keeping consumers safe from those who choose to flout their responsibilities when operating a food business.

“If you run a restaurant, takeaway, or food store, you need to keep your premises clean and pest-free, and you must store food safely. After all, your reputation and your livelihood depend on it. If you don’t meet your obligations we will take steps to shut you down and name you publicly so that diners can make an informed decision about where to spend their money.

“We’re determined to keep Waltham Forest clean, green and safe for everyone to enjoy.”

In 2018 the borough's environmental health team served HEPOs on 21 food businesses for breaches of food safety regulations.

Food businesses that are served with closure orders must make significant improvements to remove any imminent risk to public health before they can reopen and can only reopen if inspectors are satisfied they have made these changes.