• Mexborough takeaway closed due to rat infestation

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    July 15, 2019
    A Mexborough takeaway has been closed by Doncaster Council after officers discovered a rat infestation and filthy conditions.

    A routine food hygiene inspection visit by the council’s environmental health practitioners uncovered a rat infestation at Chilli Express, 27 Doncaster Road, Mexborough, Doncaster S64 0JW, operated by Chilli Express SY Ltd.

    The visit, on the evening of 1st July 2019, revealed the vermin activity throughout the main kitchen, storerooms, customer area and cellar directly underneath the food preparation areas. 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 officers 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.

    During a revisit on 4th July 2019, the company’s new pest control operative found fresh rat activity and it was stated that there appeared to be a damaged sewer drain directly underneath the property.

    On 9th July 2019, Doncaster Magistrates’ Court backed the officer’s decision and issued a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order. The business has 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.

    Councillor Chris McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Communities, Voluntary Sector and the Environment, said: “Rats present a serious risk to health in food premises and it is vital that all Doncaster’s food businesses are kept free of such pests. 

    “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.

    “Doncaster Council takes strong action to protect the health and wellbeing of residents.”
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