COCKROACHES crawling between microwaves and in a fridge have led to a popular restaurant being fined £6,000 and told to shut.
Environmental health officers spotted the insects on shelves, in a fridge, on the wall and near onions at Rimjhim in Port Solent.
Inspectors brought criminal charges against the restaurant and director of R I Southern Ltd, Muhammad Rahman, over the infestation found last summer.
But when Portsmouth City Council returned last Friday to check up before the hearing, they found a ‘widespread infestation’.
Cockroaches were in dirty dishes in the sink, on a kitchen shelf and there was chicken defrosting in a bucket.
At Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court yesterday the restaurant was shut under a hygiene emergency prohibition order until the council is happy with improvements.
That led to serving of a hygiene emergency protection order, requiring the restaurant to close immediatelyJenni Ager, on the inspection this year
When officers visited last week they also found the insects near tandoori chicken and open popadoms.
‘That led to serving of a hygiene emergency protection order, requiring the restaurant to close immediately,’ prosecutor Jenni Ager said.
‘That was due to an imminent risk of injury to public health.’
The restaurant was inspected last year in May and again in June after a tip-off from a customer who saw a cockroach on a wall while eating dinner. It was voluntarily shut but allowed to re-open.
In court the owner said the pest control team at Portsmouth City Council had not helped enough, despite only contracting them for under a month. Another firm had been working since 2013.
Rahman, 21, of Jervis Road, Portsmouth, pleaded guilty to five charges relating to contravening EU provisions concerning food safety and hygiene on behalf of the company and as an individual.
The charges were:
n Inadequate process in place to control pests resulting in infestation of cockroaches.
n Raw materials and ingredients not protected from contamination.
nPremises not kept clean and maintained in good repair and condition.
n Floor surfaces not maintained in sound condition and could not be effectively cleaned.
n Pest control and maintenance procedures not effectively implemented.
Rahman was fined £260 himself with £260 prosecution costs and a £27 victim surcharge. The company must pay the fine, £1,200 costs and a £600 victim surcharge.
Howard Wilkinson, mitigating, said the firm and Mr Rahman apologised for ‘falling short’ but said they did have pest controls in place.
He said: ‘This isn’t a case where they just let thing slide.’