A MEXBOROUGH takeaway where rats were running rampant has been closed by safety inspectors.
Doncaster Council said Chilli Express on Doncaster Road could not reopen again until it was satisfied the “filthy” premises were clean and all trace of the rat infestation are cleared.
The council said a routine inspection by environmental health practitioners on July 1 had revealed revealed the vermin activity throughout the main kitchen, storerooms, customer area and cellar directly underneath the food preparation areas.
A spokesman added: “The business was deemed to be in an appalling condition of cleanliness and there were issues with pest proofing throughout.
“The business was open for trade at the time of the inspection and the staff were preparing several food orders for delivery.
“A large amount of rat droppings were found, both fresh and stale and of different sizes indicating rats had been there for some time.
“Rats had chewed paper towels and plastic bags. They had also chewed through plasterboard and skirting boards in the main kitchen and customer seating areas.
“Clear ‘runs’ could be seen around the entire premises.
“There was a strong smell of rat urine underneath the food production sinks in the kitchen.
“A dead rat and numerous rat droppings where also found in the cellar directly below the main kitchen.
“The smell of urine in the cellar was pungent.
“The amount of evidence uncovered indicated significant activity which would have resulted in actual contamination of food and food packaging.”
The premises were immediately closed to the public by the inspectors, who served a hygiene emergency prohibition notice, as it was determined there was an imminent risk to public health.
Pest control reports taken as evidence showed there had previously been rat activity in the premises, yet no evidence that this had been dealt with appropriately was found and it was unlikely that the operator of the takeaway was unaware of the presence of rats, the council said.
A further inspection three days later found fresh evidence of rats and a damaged sewer drain underneath the building.
And last Tuesday, magistrates backed the safety officers’ decision and issued a hygiene emergency prohibition order.
The management of Chilli Express have been ordered to remove all signs of vermin activity, carry out general structural repairs and clean and disinfect all areas of the premises.
The business will not be allowed to open until officers from the environmental health food safety team are satisfied that the business no longer poses any further risk to public health.
Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for communities, the voluntary sector and environment, Cllr Chris McGuinness, said: “Rats present a serious risk to health in food.
“Food business owners have a legal duty to keep their premises hygienic and free of pests and any failure to do so will not be tolerated.”
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