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Doors Slammed Shut on Cockroach and Mouse Infested Grocers

A grocery shop has been ordered to close immediately after inspectors found a catalogue of hygiene horrors including an infestation of cockroaches, mouse droppings on food products and raw meat being prepared in unsuitable conditions.

Inspectors from Waltham Forest Council’s Food Safety team visited China House in Leyton on Tuesday 17 May after receiving a complaint about hygiene in the store. When they arrived the food business operator was found cutting meat in a store room that was filthy and had raw meat residues stuck to the walls.

This was only the beginning of the shocking conditions in the store, as German cockroaches were seen crawling along the walls in the storeroom and over packets of food and when an inspector lifted up an extension lead a number of smaller cockroach nymphs crawled out from inside.

If that wasn’t enough, evidence was also found of a serious infestation of mice throughout the shop, including nests made up of chewed up cardboard boxes and mouse droppings on food products, food shelves and around chest freezers.

Due to the imminent risk to public health a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice was served on the premises, and the shop was closed immediately. A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was confirmed last week (19 May) at Stratford Magistrates Court, which means the premises will remain closed until inspectors are satisfied that the various issues have been addressed. The Council was also awarded full costs of £465.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment said: “It’s unbelievable that people think it’s acceptable to operate a food business in such appalling conditions. We simply won’t stand for any business putting the health of our residents at risk in Waltham Forest, so I’m pleased with the decisive action that has been taken here.”

Whilst carrying out their inspection officers also found a large quantity of illicit tobacco on the premises. The Council’s Trading Standards team were alerted, and they seized over 14,000 cigarettes, which will now be tested before any further action is taken.

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