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Chick Inn vermin leads to £5k fining

The owner of Chick Inn at 247 Hoe Street, Walthamstow has been hit with a bill for £7,700 after Waltham Forest Council’s Environmental Health team discovered a rat infestation at the fast food takeaway last year.

On 20 January 2014 a routine inspection at Chick Inn revealed a rat infestation in the storeroom, with evidence found of rats having gnawed through cabbages that were destined to be used raw in salad. 

The Inspector also noted that rats had gnawed through bags of flour and rat droppings were found on shelving where containers of food were stored. The lighting in the storeroom was very poor and it would have been difficult to see that there was a rat infestation.

“These sorts of appalling discoveries underline the importance of the work of our Food and Safety team and the value of our inspection programme,” said Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment.

“Identifying food outlets that are not taking the necessary measures to ensure proper hygiene precautions are being followed is an extremely important facet of our work as a Council. Obviously the Court agreed given both the fact the maximum fine was imposed and we awarded all our costs.”

The Inspector also reported that the premises were dirty throughout, with sinks and wash basins encrusted with food debris. Food containers and a chopping board were also found to be dirty and there was no evidence that anyone working at the takeaway had been trained.

The Inspector returned to the fast food outlet later in January 2014 and again in March 2014, but each visit highlighted that little had been done to improve the premises and accordingly a prosecution was mounted by the Council against the owner, Mr Gohar Khan.

On Friday (19 January) Mr Khan pleaded guilty to six offences at Thames Magistrates’ Court and was fined £5,000 for failing to protect food from contamination and ordered to pay the Council’s full costs of £2,700.

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