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Restaurant ordered to pay more than £17,000 after evidence of rats found in its food storage area

Released on July 31, 2020

An Abingdon restaurant has been ordered to pay more than £17,000 after its food storage area was found to be infested with rats.

Vale of White Horse District Council prosecuted Tiffins Tandoori of Bath Street for five offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations at Oxford Magistrates’ court on 17 July. The defendants pleaded guilty to all five offences and magistrates ordered them to pay £3,000 for each charge and costs of £2,211.26 and a victim surcharge of £181.

Environmental Health Officers from Vale of White Horse District Council visited the restaurant on 4 October 2019 to carry out an unannounced routine food hygiene inspection.

During the inspection officers found inside and outside food and equipment storage areas had evidence of a rat infestation including rat droppings on equipment, including a frying pan, also gnawed food and gnawed food packaging and a large hole which had been created by the rats in the internal food store room.

The officers served a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice which prevented the restaurant from using the storage areas. Officers allowed the premises to reopen on 16 October 2019 as remedial work had removed the health risk.

Since then the restaurant has carried out work costing £25,000 which the magistrates heard was “significant and above what was required”.

Cllr Jenny Hannaby, Vale of White Horse District Council cabinet member for housing and environment said: “The council’s food safety officers have an important role protecting people’s health. They are rigorous and diligent in their work making sure businesses which serve food keep to high hygiene standards.

“When firms fail to meet these standards, as in this case, officers will take immediate action. I am pleased to hear that the restaurant has now worked hard to improve food hygiene levels and its food safety for its customers.” 

Notes to editors

A press release on the Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice issued in October 2019 is on our website here