The owner of an establishment in Kingston has been fined more than £4,000 after breaching food safety regulations when infestations of cockroaches were found on their premises. Food safety officials took action against the owner after environmental health officers found an infestation of cockroaches in five different areas of the premises, including the food preparation area.
Cockroaches were also found to be living and breeding in various machinery where food was stored. Cockroaches are mainly a nocturnal insect, feeding and breeding at night so they tend to stay hidden during the day, in warm dark areas and the motor housings of kitchen appliances, fridges and freezers are favourites as these are on 24 hours a day supplying constant source of warmth. Also with these appliances being kept in or close to kitchens, the cockroaches are always near a food source.
Some food handlers were found to be not wearing any suitable personal protective clothing, including gloves when preparing food, and there were also holes found in the suspended ceiling with flaking tiles directly above some of the food preparation and cooking areas. There was also a heavy build up of food debris and grease found in corners behind units and appliances where the wall meets the floor, giving a plentiful supply of food to the cockroaches. Other breaches of food safety regulations and health and safety at work included no hot running water in some hand wash basins, no adequate on site training for staff regarding safe food preparation, blatant disregard for the health and safety of its clients and an inadequate ventilation system in the kitchen.
The owner was also closed down for one month to give them time to get all the listed problems rectified professionally and the premises treated and cleaned to the satisfactory standards of the health and safety executive.