MAGISTRATES have confirmed a decision by Reading Borough Council’s food safety team to shut down an Oxford Road takeaway following a major rat infestation.
Hot Stuff Tandoori, 421 Oxford Road, was visited by food safety officers on October 2nd after a customer complained that rats had been spotted in the kitchen. Inspectors subsequently found evidence of a rat infestation, including a large number of droppings, gnawing and a strong smell near the customer service area. During the visit, officers found fresh faeces on a work surface which was being used for the preparation of ready-to-eat foods.
Council food safety officers decided the findings presented an imminent risk to health for consumers and that the food business operator did not have sufficient controls in place. They issued a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice and the takeaway was immediately shut down.
On Friday (Oct 13) Reading Magistrates were presented with evidence of the food safety team’s findings, which included photographs. The Council was subsequently granted a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order and costs totalling £1,072.00. The order means that Hot Stuff cannot open until food safety officers are satisfied the premises are free from rats and there is no imminent risk to health.
Sarah Hacker, Reading Borough Council’s Lead Member for Consumer Services, said:
“There is no excuse for these kind of breaches of basic food hygiene. While the majority of food outlets in Reading are responsible, that was clearly not the case here.
“Public safety remains a priority and business owners need to know we will take action where we receive reports.
“The work of the food safety team at Reading is an example of the sort of essential Council work that goes on behind the scenes to protect the public. My congratulations to the team for yet another successful prohibition order.”
Notes To Editors:
Photographs of the food safety team’s inspection findings are available on request from the Council’s Press Office on 0118 937 2301.