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Chili sauce on your kebab sir? What about mouse droppings?

On 5 November last year Waltham Forest Council’s Environmental Health Team carried out a routine food hygiene inspection of ‘Kebabish Original’ located at 692 High Road, Leyton.


The business sells curries, kebabs and burgers, but unfortunately there was more on the menu than unfortunate customers might have bargained for. The Inspector found mouse droppings on peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers in the cold store, throughout the cellar and kitchen, and on floors, food containers and shelving.


In addition to evidence of a mouse infestation, the Inspector also found the hygiene conditions to be ‘very bad’. The poor standard of cleaning had left floor and wall surfaces in the kitchen coated with grease and dirt and food containers and utensils were encrusted with old food deposits. Unbelievably it was also discovered that a rusty sieve was the means by which staff fished lettuce out of a filthy plastic container in the cold store containing cut lettuce floating in brown water!


“It was quite the most revolting conditions to be preparing and serving food in,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment. “Some of the practices just make you wonder what the people working at this takeaway were thinking. The fact that vermin were running around and leaving faeces on food is just appalling.”


The premises was also found to be in a poor state of repair, with a hole in the kitchen ceiling, missing wall tiles and damaged plasterwork. Documents which are required to demonstrate effective food safety measures were also found not to be in use.


Waltham Forest Council progressed the matter to a successful food hygiene prosecution at Thames Magistrates Court on 19 September bringing to bear fines and costs of over £15,000 against the proprietors.


Following a guilty plea, Kenlar Ltd – the company which owned the business at the time – was fined £6,000 (£1,000 per offence). Director Mazhar Hussain and Shareholder Nadeem Ahmed were each fined £1,000 for the pest offence and £500 each for five other offences and ordered to pay costs of £2,361 to the Council.


“This appalling case is enough to make anyone think twice about putting their trust in a takeaway,” said Cllr Loakes. “However, I think it is important that we highlight incidents like this so that establishments serving food understand the need to take their responsibilities seriously.


“It demonstrates that in Waltham Forest we will not sit back and allow our residents to be maltreated in this way. We will bring the full force of the law to bear, and that means very real consequences with significant financial penalties.”




PHOTOS: Some examples of the filth found at Kebabish Original in Leyton, including the rusty sieve used for ‘fishing’ lettuce and mouse droppings on peppers.

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