Southwark Council uncovered revolting conditions in the Cimraan Café, on London’s Old Kent Road when officers visited on January 22 last year. A routine inspection uncovered an uncontrolled rat infestation in areas where food was stored, handled and processed.
The café was immediately closed down and a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was later granted at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court.
The café manager was questioned during the inspection and displayed a complete lack of knowledge regarding cleaning and disinfection. It was clear that adequate checks of food temperatures and signs of pest activity were not happening.
The rat infestation was found in the kitchen and food storage rooms; these rooms were also filthy and in a bad state of repair. There were no food hygiene training records or food safety procedures for staff to follow. In addition, a dirty ventilation canopy with metal filters was found to be dripping grease onto the cooking range.
As a result of the inspection and closure, the council prosecuted the business owner, Mohamed Mohamud Ahmed, 29, for breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations and he was sentenced to costs and fines of £6,991.40, at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court on January 30, 2019.
Cllr Victoria Mills said: “The owner of Cimraan Café showed blatant disregard for the health and safety of his customers and his staff and his premises was in a terrible state.
“Council officers work tirelessly to check and support food vendors across Southwark and I hope this prosecution will serve as a reminder to them all to adhere stringently to food safety law and operate using good food hygiene practice.”
When officers returned to Cimraan Café on February 5 2018, they saw that their recommendations had been acted on and the premises had been repaired, adequately pest proofed, the kitchen had been fitted with new wall tiling and deep cleaned, and the customer toilet had been cleaned and repainted. As such, Ahmed was permitted to reopen the premises and the Emergency Prohibition Order was removed.