A fast food takeaway was closed down after an infestation of German cockroaches was discovered by council officers.
The then owner of Yankees Fried Chicken, Witton Street, Northwich , later shelled out £2,209 in fines and costs for hygiene offences.
Food safety officers allowed the premises to re-open a few weeks later when conditions were found to be satisfactory.
Former owner Abu Ali pleaded guilty to offences under food safety and hygiene legislation when he appeared at West Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, August 10.
The premises were investigated following a complaint from a member of the public that they had seen a cockroach in October 2016.
The court heard that during an inspection Cheshire West and Chester Council ’s food safety officers found an extensive infestation of German cockroaches that appeared to have been an issue for some time. The premises were also found to be in a dirty condition with poor standards of hygiene throughout.
There was no evidence of staff training having taken place and a lack of food safety management controls.
The premises were closed until the infestation was brought under control and was rated ‘0’ on the food hygiene rating scheme. Officers allowed the premises to re-open after a month when hygiene conditions were found to be satisfactory.
Ongoing checks on the premises demonstrate that improved standards are being maintained. The business has subsequently changed hands.
As a result of the food safety offences committed, Mr Ali, 28, of Redhill Drive, Bredbury, Stockport, was fined £750, ordered to pay £1,299 prosecution costs and £85 legal costs, along with a victim surcharge of £75 – a total of £2,209.
Councillor Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, said: “The council’s food safety officers work extremely hard to ensure that all businesses in the borough maintain satisfactory hygiene standards.
"It is always disappointing when we have to take legal action against a food business operator. In this case, legal action was taken because of the poor standards of hygiene encountered at the time of the inspection, along with the existence of an extensive and long-standing infestation of cockroaches.
“Pest control is a fundamental requirement of running a hygienic food business and I would recommend that all food businesses engage the services of a competent pest controller on a contractual basis. Pests carry disease and can expose customers to a risk of food poisoning.
“We have a duty to the public, and to the vast majority of food establishments in Cheshire West that operate to a high standard and serve their customers well, to take effective action where others do not make the same effort.”
Consumers can check the food hygiene rating of premises in the borough on the council’s website. Just type in ‘food hygiene rating’ in the search box and follow the links.
Each business is given their hygiene rating after being inspected by a food safety officer from the local authority. At the end of the inspection, the business is given one of the six ratings from 0-5, with ‘5’ representing ‘very good’ hygiene standards.