A restaurant was closed down after an outbreak of suspected food poisoning.

Guests who had attended a function at Leyton-based restaurant Lagos Island, in Lea Bridge Rd, Walthamstow, contacted Waltham Forest Council's food hygiene on Monday, July 8, after they began suffering symptoms of food poisoning.

When officers visited the premises the next day they found a mouse infestation and incorrectly stored, out-of-date food in the restaurant's filthy kitchen.

By that point, some guests had started posting on Tripadvisor about the incident.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

The filthy kitchen at Lagos Island restaurant

Inspectors immediately closed the restaurant because of the risk to public health, serving a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice (HEPN) .

The rotten food was kept aside to prevent it reaching consumers until the case could be heard at court.

On Thursday, July 11, Thames Magistrates Court granted a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order and awarded the council costs of £1,980.00.

Magistrates also granted a Food Condemnation Notice to destroy the rotten food that was found at the restaurant.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Mouse droppings were found on a food container

Cllr Clyde Loakes, deputy leader and cabinet member for the environment, said: “This is one of the worst instances I have yet seen of a restaurant failing to meet its obligations to customers. If you run a food business, it is up to you to make sure that the food is stored safely, that your kitchen is kept clean and hygienic, and that there are no pests infesting the premises. You are jeopardising both your customers and your reputation if you do not.

“The law says we must give the operators a chance to make improvements when we close a food business, but we would like to reassure residents that any which are formally closed will be revisited in this shortest possible timeframe when they reopen.

“We have had to take action against this restaurant before in 2018, and this previous closure is the subject of ongoing formal proceedings.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Rancid eggs were found in the restaurant

  • In a separate case, Thames Magistrates Court granted a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order for the closure of Abina Supermarket, in Hoe Street, Walthamstow, on Thursday, July 18 after officers found contaminated food, a mouse infestation, and no operational hot water tap for staff to wash their hands.

Pests: what is the risk to food?

Rats, mice and cockroaches can carry food poisoning pathogens such as Salmonella and E-coli as they access waste, toilets and sewers and then physically distribute germs onto food, food preparation surfaces, utensils and equipment. They can also contaminate food with food poisoning bacteria directly through their faecal matter.

Why do these businesses seem to re-open so quickly?

Waltham Forest food & safety officers would like to clarify why businesses that have been formally closed sometimes open before or shortly after articles go to press.

This is because an ‘imminent risk’ can sometimes be addressed fairly quickly and the business must then be allowed to re-open, as required by the Court Order.

However, food and safety officers would like to reassure the public that longer-term improvements may go on for some time after the imminent risk has been addressed and that businesses that have been formally closed are next inspected in the shortest time frame allowable.