A pizza restaurant in Baker Street was so riddled with mice, a hygiene inspector applied for a court order to close it down. L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in Baker Street was found to pose a danger to diners due to a serious mice infestation in the kitchen. It was, the inspector said, “an imminent risk to public health”.
A Westminster City Council official found packets of pasta had been gnawed by mice and went on to give it the worst possible rating – zero out of five – following a visit on February 1. The inspector’s report said mice droppings were found on the kitchen floor, under equipment and on packaged food in the storage room.
The report said: “There were inadequate procedures in place to ensure that pests are controlled. The pasta packages [were] gnawed by mice… As well as spreading food poisoning bacteria, pests can spread food-borne illness such as dysentery.
READ MORE:South London bar shut down for week after inspector found rats and cockroaches
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“Our inspection revealed a serious widespread mice infestation and poor maintenance of routine cleaning resulting in a significant risk of food contamination. As a result I served a hygiene emergency prohibition notice… to prohibit the use of the premises for the purposes of any food business, due to an imminent risk to public health.”
The inspector told the restaurant managers: “The level of food hygiene awareness amongst your staff was inadequate on certain important food safety matters related to their work responsibilities. There were mouse droppings on the tinned food on the shelf in the dry storage room and some pasta packets were gnawed. Staff did notice the mice infestation in the dry storage room.”
The restaurant was advised “urgent improvement” was needed for handling food hygienically, managing food safety and keeping the building and facilities clean. The inspector said the owners should regularly review staff training and remove disused equipment to reduce the risk of dirt collecting on surfaces. They also told them to keep food preparation areas clean, fill any holes in the building to keep out pests, and keep food covered at all times.
The business has since reopened. A member of staff told the Local Democracy Reporting Service new managers have been hired at the restaurant since the inspection and the hygiene problems have been sorted out.