Council shuts two Waltham Forest restaurants after finding pest infestation

Council officers discovered mice droppings in rice containers, a cockroach infestation, and a dead mouse when inspecting Butt Kebabish Grill and Dessert Inn, reports Marco Marcelline

Dessert Inn, Lea Bridge Road Credit: Waltham Forest Council

Two Waltham Forest restaurants were shut down by the Council in June because of pest infestations and dirty conditions.

Butt Kebabish Grill and Curry, on 755 High Road, Leytonstone, and Dessert Inn, on 534 Lea Bridge Road were shut down following visits by officers on the 2nd of June and 23rd of June respectively.

On arrival to Butt Kebabish Grill and Curry, officers from the Council’s Environmental Health Team noted that mouse droppings were on the floor, on shelving used for food storage, and in rice containers. One of the attendant officers also spotted dirt, grease and debris “littering the floor in the servery and in the preparation kitchen”.

Butt Kebabish Grill was immediately shut when inspected by environmental health officers on 2nd June. Thames Magistrates Court approved a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order (HEPO) on 9th June and awarded the council costs of £1,591.86.

Butt Kebabish Grill and Curry re-opened last Thursday (29th June) after the council was satisfied with the steps taken to improve hygiene at the restaurant, which serves popular dishes such as lamb sage and chicken biriyani.

Meanwhile, Dessert Inn was formally closed after officers discovered a cockroach infestation and a dead mouse. Officers also noted a lack of cleanliness throughout the premises.

A dead mouse, cockroaches and grime found on a mouse trap in Dessert Inn Credit: Waltham Forest Council

Dessert Inn still remains shut after it was ordered to close on 23rd June, however. The vending prohibition will remain in place until an Environmental Health Officer is satisfied that sufficient measures have been taken to improve conditions and alleviate health risks. Thames Magistrates Court granted a HEPO at a hearing about Dessert Inn on 21st June and awarded Waltham Forest Council costs of £1,237.13.

Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Anyone who runs a food premises should know by now, how seriously Waltham Forest Council takes food hygiene.

“Unfortunately, not all food business operators take hygiene matters seriously enough when preparing and cooking food for customers, as a result the Council will take formal action where the health of the public is put at risk due to a lack of food safety management and poor standards.”

The news comes after a Food Standards Agency report revealed that Waltham Forest’s cafes, restaurants and takeaways have the lowest average hygiene ratings in the whole of the UK.

With an average score of 3.77 out of five, the borough is trailing behind London’s overall average of 4.34. Of the roughly 2,000 registered food businesses in the borough, 15% have a hygiene rating score of two or lower.

Waltham Forest Council has responded to the poor ratings by pointing to its “zero-tolerance” approach towards food businesses that don’t take adequate steps to secure good hygiene standards.