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Rat factor closes Roti Factory

Roti Factory of 431 Lea Bridge Road, Leyton was shut down recently by Waltham Forest Council’s Environmental Health Team after a routine inspection revealed filthy conditions, no hot water and a rat infestation.

Rat droppings were found in the food preparation and storage areas of the business. Poor structural repair had led to holes and gaps appearing in and around damaged walls and loose skirting, allowing easy access to rats.

The rats had also burrowed through the floor under the sink to gain access to the food preparation room. There was also defective drainage in the premises and the rats were entering the premises via the drains as well.

In addition the gas boiler was broken so the business had no hot water. There were also filthy conditions witnessed by the inspectors, including dirty food preparation surfaces, cleaning cloths ingrained with long term deposits of food waste and food containers encrusted with food debris.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “The filth and utterly inadequate attention to hygiene is simply unacceptable. Frankly it beggars belief that a food establishment could even contemplate operating without hot water.

“However, it is the ability of vermin to enter the premises because of the poor state of repair that is truly shocking. The holes and gaps not only gave the rats easy access, they also made it impossible to clean effectively.”

Rats, especially those that live in sewers, can carry food poisoning pathogens such as Salmonella and E-coli as they can access waste, toilets and sewers and then physically distribute germs onto food or food preparation surfaces, utensils and equipment.

The Inspector from the Council’s Environmental Health Team closed the business immediately after her inspection on 8 April, serving a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice on Roti Factory and citing the rat infestation as an imminent risk to health.

On Thursday 10 April the Council Inspector went to Stratford Magistrates Court to obtain a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order that will ensure the business will remain closed until the imminent risk to health has been removed. The court also ordered Roti Factory to pay Waltham Forest Council’s costs of £564.

“The imminent risk can sometimes be addressed fairly swiftly and the business re-opened,” explained Cllr Loakes, “But rest assured we will be paying attention to the long term improvements that need to be made and we will progress a prosecution against the owners if success is deemed likely.”

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