Derby kebab shop forced to remain closed following cockroach infestation

Published: 19 October 2020

Council House at night

A Derby kebab shop has been ordered to remain closed after officers from Derby City Council’s Environmental Health team discovered an infestation of cockroaches.

Officers carried out a visit at Pear Tree Kebabs on the Pear Tree Road, Normanton on Wednesday 14th October. The food outlet, operated by Mr Jaza Morawati, is a food new business which had recently registered with the department. The Council was visiting to undertake a new food hygiene inspection of the premises.

When officers arrived, the shop was open and serving to members of the public. There were clear signs of an infestation and officers served a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice formally closing the business.

The inspection revealed the food outlet had ‘an uncontrolled cockroach infestation with both dead and live cockroaches found in food preparation and storage areas, as well as in the customer toilet.’

The owner had attempted to control the infestation using an over-the-counter insecticide. But the cockroaches were found at various stages of their lifecycle, indicating that it wasn’t a recent infestation.

Cleaning was poor throughout the building, which provided a constant food source for the insects. Officers found dirt and debris under equipment, with evidence of their presence on food preparation surfaces, including amongst customer plates and takeaway packaging. A dead cockroach was found on a bottle of lemon sauce, and live ones were seen climbing walls above the kitchen sink and another crawling over the portable hob in the kitchen.

At this morning’s hearing, the court heard that the equipment used to clean surfaces was dirty and the chemical cleaning fluid contained no antibacterial properties to kill any pathogens present. It was also discovered that workers were using hot soapy water with washing up liquid as a means of cleaning food preparation surfaces.

The owners had also neglected to take preventative action to block off entry points found in the storeroom.

A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order was issued by Derby Magistrates today, granting powers for the Council to keep the shop shut until it is satisfied that the safety of customers can be met. The business will have to apply in writing to reopen.

Councillor Jonathan Smale, Cabinet Member for Communities, Neighbourhoods and Streetpride said: “Cockroaches are known carriers of diseases such as Salmonella, Dysentery and Gastroenteritis. Given that they knew they had an infestation and the fact that we’re in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic, the right cleaning chemicals to disinfect food and hand contact surfaces are essential to ensure the service of safe food. I welcome the notice authorised by the Court today as it shows the importance of food hygiene as well as the excellent work that our officers continue to do, at a time when they are incredibly busy.

Mr Morawati was ordered to pay Council costs of £1,170, which included court fees of £205.

Cockroaches can live anywhere between 100 and 200 days.  The average gestation period for the German cockroach is 28 days where after this time 30 or more nymphs can be born.  It takes 6 to 12 weeks for the German cockroach to reach maturity.

Cockroaches contaminate surfaces with faeces and regurgitated food.  They contaminate food, utensils, equipment and preparation surfaces directly as they move from sewers/drains into premises and are therefore implicated in the transmission of pathogens that cause food poisoning.

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