Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Leyton pizza kitchen shut down after customer 'saw rat jump into kitchen'

The restaurant was ordered to pay the council more than £1,000 yesterday

Hero for Leyton pizza kitchen shut down after customer 'saw rat jump into kitchen'
Italian Slice and (inset) rat droppings on the kitchen floor (credit: Google Streetview/WF Council)
By Waltham Forest Echo 04 August 2022

A well-reviewed Italian restaurant in Leyton was shut down last week after a customer reported seeing a rat "jump off a shelf and into the kitchen".A well-reviewed Italian restaurant in Leyton was shut down last week after a customer reported seeing a rat "jump off a shelf and into the kitchen".

Italian Slice in Lea Bridge Road was visited by Waltham Forest Council’s hygiene inspectors on 27th July and “immediately closed” after inspectors discovered its kitchen was “filthy, uncleaned and contaminated with fresh rat droppings”.. Italian Slice in Lea Bridge Road was visited by Waltham Forest Council’s hygiene inspectors on 27th July and “immediately closed” after inspectors discovered its kitchen was “filthy, uncleaned and contaminated with fresh rat droppings”.. 

Yesterday, the council took their case against the restaurant to a London magistrates court, who confirmed the closure and ordered the restaurant to pay the council’s costs of £1,067.Yesterday, the council took their case against the restaurant to a London magistrates court, who confirmed the closure and ordered the restaurant to pay the council’s costs of £1,067.

The proprietor of the restaurant chose not to attend the hearing. The proprietor of the restaurant chose not to attend the hearing. 

Rat droppings found outside the kitchen (credit: WF Council)Rat droppings found outside the kitchen (credit: WF Council)

The restaurant sells pizzas ranging from £6.50 to £12 and is highly rated on both Google Reviews and Just Eat.The restaurant sells pizzas ranging from £6.50 to £12 and is highly rated on both Google Reviews and Just Eat.

Last month, one Google reviewer wrote that the restaurant was “the definition of a hidden gem”, adding: “There are some places doing really good pizza in and around Walthamstow and Leyton, and Italian Slice is way up there. Last month, one Google reviewer wrote that the restaurant was “the definition of a hidden gem”, adding: “There are some places doing really good pizza in and around Walthamstow and Leyton, and Italian Slice is way up there. 

“Possibly the best pizza - certainly the best value. The staff are so nice, they’re always super quick, and the pizza is fantastic.”“Possibly the best pizza - certainly the best value. The staff are so nice, they’re always super quick, and the pizza is fantastic.”

Another reviewer wrote: “The best pizza ever! Staff members are always friendly, prices are reasonable and the spot is always kept clean.”Another reviewer wrote: “The best pizza ever! Staff members are always friendly, prices are reasonable and the spot is always kept clean.”

Photos from the inspection show a thick carpet of rat droppings on the ground outside the premises and more on the ground in the kitchen.Photos from the inspection show a thick carpet of rat droppings on the ground outside the premises and more on the ground in the kitchen.

Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, cabinet member for community safety, said: “The pictures in this case speak for themselves – the proprietor was clearly aware of a rodent problem and I am pleased that council officers moved as quickly as they did in removing this safety risk. Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, cabinet member for community safety, said: “The pictures in this case speak for themselves – the proprietor was clearly aware of a rodent problem and I am pleased that council officers moved as quickly as they did in removing this safety risk.

“The council is not in the business of stamping out small enterprise. We are in the business of protecting local residents and visitors, and restaurants like this one will be prohibited from serving the public until it can prove they are as serious about public health as we are.”“The council is not in the business of stamping out small enterprise. We are in the business of protecting local residents and visitors, and restaurants like this one will be prohibited from serving the public until it can prove they are as serious about public health as we are.”

Waltham Forest Council also recently shut down another popular restaurant in the borough, Etles Uyghur in Hoe Street, after it found signs of a “cockroach infestation”.Waltham Forest Council also recently shut down another popular restaurant in the borough, Etles Uyghur in Hoe Street, after it found signs of a “cockroach infestation”.

The restaurant had been featured in “best of” lists by the Evening Standard and Eater.The restaurant had been featured in “best of” lists by the Evening Standard and Eater.