Mexborough takeaway Chilli Express shut down by council due to rat infestation

A Mexborough takeaway has been shut down after environmental officers discovered a rat infestation.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 1:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 12:47 am
Chilli Express on Doncaster Road. Picture: Google

Doncaster Council officers carrying out a routine hygiene inspection at the Chilli Express on Doncaster Road said they found ‘appalling conditions of cleanliness’ and issues with pest proofing.

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

Environmental officers said the amount of evidence uncovered indicated significant activity which would have resulted in ‘actual contamination of food and food packaging’.

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The business was open for trade at the time of the inspection and the staff were preparing several food orders for delivery.

Officers said a large amount of rat droppings were found, both fresh and stale and of different sizes indicating rats had been there for some time.

They also said the rats had ‘chewed paper towels and plastic bags and through plasterboard and skirting boards in the main kitchen and customer seating areas.

Council staff said there was a ‘strong smell of rat urine underneath the food production sinks in the kitchen’ and a ‘dead rat and numerous rat droppings were also found in the cellar’ directly below the main kitchen.

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 July 4, 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.

Doncaster Magistrates’ Court backed the officer’s decision and issued a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order which means 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.”