Waltham Forest Echo

Waltham Forest Echo

Leyton restaurant that 'served mouldy chicken as crab meat' hit with £10K fine

The restaurant owner hosted a birthday party even after being ordered to shut down

Hero for Leyton restaurant that 'served mouldy chicken as crab meat' hit with £10K fine
Lagos Island and (inset) mouldy food found in the kitchen (credit: WF Council)
By Victoria Munro 06 January 2022

A Leyton restaurant owner caught “serving mouldy chicken as crab meat” - who refused to close when ordered - has been hit with a more than £10,000 fine.A Leyton restaurant owner caught “serving mouldy chicken as crab meat” - who refused to close when ordered - has been hit with a more than £10,000 fine.

Gaby Kolajo, owner of Lagos Island in Lea Bridge Road, was ordered to shut his business down in late August of 2018 after Waltham Forest Council officers discovered a mouse and cockroach infestation.Gaby Kolajo, owner of Lagos Island in Lea Bridge Road, was ordered to shut his business down in late August of 2018 after Waltham Forest Council officers discovered a mouse and cockroach infestation.

However, a few days later on 1st September, he flouted this order by hosting a birthday party, attempting to hoodwink officers who caught him by claiming only one half of the premises had been shut down. However, a few days later on 1st September, he flouted this order by hosting a birthday party, attempting to hoodwink officers who caught him by claiming only one half of the premises had been shut down. 

Officers attending on that day also found what they believe was a container of mouldy chicken in the kitchen, which Gaby insisted was boiled crab.Officers attending on that day also found what they believe was a container of mouldy chicken in the kitchen, which Gaby insisted was boiled crab.

A container of mouldy food Gaby claimed was boiled crab (credit: WF Council)A container of mouldy food Gaby claimed was boiled crab (credit: WF Council)

Last month, on 7th December, Gaby finally appeared at Stratford Magistrates Court and was found guilty of failing to keep his business clean or control pests, serving customers despite an imminent health risk and serving food “unfit for human consumption”.Last month, on 7th December, Gaby finally appeared at Stratford Magistrates Court and was found guilty of failing to keep his business clean or control pests, serving customers despite an imminent health risk and serving food “unfit for human consumption”.

He was given the highest possible fine of £10,170, including £2,000 in costs to the council and a £170 victim surcharge.He was given the highest possible fine of £10,170, including £2,000 in costs to the council and a £170 victim surcharge.

Council deputy leader Clyde Loakes said: “The magistrate clearly saw through Kolajo’s claims and used their full powers as a warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated.Council deputy leader Clyde Loakes said: “The magistrate clearly saw through Kolajo’s claims and used their full powers as a warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

“The state of the kitchens was bad enough but the owner decided to ignore the environmental health officer and the court to continue serving customers, putting their health at serious risk.“The state of the kitchens was bad enough but the owner decided to ignore the environmental health officer and the court to continue serving customers, putting their health at serious risk.

“As a local authority we have limited powers in what we can do to a business - even one that so egregiously ignores orders - but you can rest assured that we will use all the powers available to us to take action against the minority of food business operators who do not take their responsibilities seriously like Mr Kolajo.”“As a local authority we have limited powers in what we can do to a business - even one that so egregiously ignores orders - but you can rest assured that we will use all the powers available to us to take action against the minority of food business operators who do not take their responsibilities seriously like Mr Kolajo.”

Lagos Island was last inspected in July 2020 and was given a food hygiene rating of zero, meaning that it requires urgent improvement. Lagos Island was last inspected in July 2020 and was given a food hygiene rating of zero, meaning that it requires urgent improvement. 

You can check a food hygiene rating of any premises by going to the Food Standards Agency website.You can check a food hygiene rating of any premises by going to the Food Standards Agency website.