Council takes action on rat-infested kebab shop

30 Nov 2017

Stevenage Borough Council has obtained a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order against a kebab shop in Stevenage town centre following the discovery of a rat infestation.

An inspection by the council’s Environmental Health team found Mega Kebab and Pizza on Queensway to be infested by rats, with rat droppings found throughout the shop. At St Albans Magistrates’ Court on Monday 27 November, the court ruled that Mega Kebab and Pizza should remain closed until the council is satisfied that steps have been taken to deep clean the premises and remove the rat infestation.

Cllr Jackie Hollywell, Executive Member for Safer Communities and Equalities, said: “This order shows that we will take action against food premises that put their customers’ health at risk. Rats are known to carry parasites as well as food poisoning bacteria such as salmonella that can cause ill-health and disease in humans so we are pleased that this shop will remain closed until work has been carried out to improve its standards of food hygiene and cleanliness.

“We will stay in contact with the shop’s owner to ensure the work is carried out and that the court order is complied with.”

The council’s Environmental Health Officers visit food premises regularly and assess them on three areas: hygiene, structure and confidence in management. Each area is then given a score and these are used to calculate a rating on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom, which requires urgent improvement, to a top rating of five, which is very good. The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service. As part of the scheme, food businesses are given a window sticker showing the rating achieved.