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Fast food owner fined £6,000 after cockroach found in takeaway spare ribs

Published Friday, 05 August 2011

The manager of a chicken shop in Peckham was given a sizeable fine by magistrates after a customer discovered a dead cockroach inside her takeaway spare ribs and chips.

Environmental Health Officers from Southwark Council inspected Lions Fried Chicken on Queens Road in July last year, following a complaint.

Live cockroaches were seen in food items, in the food container where bread rolls were stored, and crawling on the tiles and food preparation counters.

Despite an immediate closure of the premises, treatment by a pest control company and a clean up by staff, the owner failed to maintain standards and shortly after opening again, a customer found a cockroach in her takeaway spare ribs meal.

A further site visit was carried out in September by the council's Environmental Health Officers where it was again discovered that poor hygiene practices were still in place, and there was an infestation of cockroaches. The premises were again closed through a Voluntary Agreement so that a cockroach treatment and necessary cleaning could be carried out.

On Friday July 29, 2011 Mr. Shanmugarajath Manikam, manager of Lions Fried Chicken, pleaded guilty to 18 charges at Tower Bridge Magistrates Court, including placing on the market food which was unsafe as it was unfit for human consumption and failing to put in place adequate procedures to prevent an infestation by German cockroaches. He was ordered to pay £6,000 in fines and nearly £2,000 in costs.

Cllr Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport, environment, and recycling at Southwark Council, said:

"Customers really deserve better than to be treated like this. This sort of attitude to hygiene is simply not good enough, and I really hope this strong fine sends a clear message that we won't allow food outlets in our borough to sell potentially harmful food to our residents."

Background Information

The defendant was fined £3,000 for count 9 relating to the cockroach found in the spare ribs and chips meal and £3,000 for count one with no separate penalty in relation to the other offences.

The defendant is from Shooters Hill Road, London SE18.

The defendant was ordered to pay the victim surcharge of £15 and prosecution costs of £1, 837.50. The defendant is required to pay the full sum in three equal instalments of £2,617.50 in August 2011, September 2011 and October 2011.


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