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Sewage, mice and unrefrigerated food – Eat Max, hygiene min!

Food outlet, Eat Max, located at 46b Hoe Street, Walthamstow was closed by Waltham Forest Council’s Food Safety Team on 9 March after an inspection revealed a catalogue of insanitary conditions.

The establishment had no hot water, there was a mouse infestation, the toilet was blocked and sewage had seeped under the toilet cubicle door and into the passageway.

There were major building works being carried out while the business was operating and this included excavations to dig up and expose the toilet sewage pipe in an attempt to repair it.

Inspectors reported that there was an overpowering smell of sewage throughout the premises and they found food that should have been refrigerated kept at room temperature. Apparently it had been stored like that for six hours.

The Inspector served a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice and the premises was immediately closed.

The team had previously visited the establishment in January when a schedule of works was given to the business owners in order to bring the premises up to scratch. While the owners initially decided to temporarily close the outlet in February for the works to be carried out, they then re-opened it while hygiene standards were still lacking.

Councillor Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said, “It is quite unbelievable that this business thought it was OK to reopen while the building works were ongoing given that they included repairing a sewage pipe that was leaking.

“How they could imagine they could operate while the place stunk of sewage is quite beyond me. Couple that with the mouse infestation and lack of hot water and you have to conclude that the owners obviously have no respect whatsoever for the people who patronise their establishment.

“Frankly these people do not belong in business in this borough and we have obviously done all we can to hold them to account. We will now be looking at the prospect of a prosecution, which to my mind seems highly achievable!”

A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was granted by Stratford Magistrates’ Court on 12 March and the premises will remain closed until the necessary works are carried out to the satisfaction of the Council’s Food Safety Team.


  1. The closed business, Eat Max in Walthamstow.

  2. An open manhole witnessed by the Inspector.

  3. Mouse droppings found on the premises.

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