Stevenage kebab shop closed due to rat infestation

Mega Kebab & Pizza in Stevenage was found by health inspectors to be infested with rats. File photo.

Mega Kebab & Pizza in Stevenage was found by health inspectors to be infested with rats. File photo. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A Stevenage town centre kebab shop has been temporarily closed by a court order after hygiene inspectors found it to be infested with rats.

Stevenage Borough Council’s environmental health team found rat droppings throughout Mega Kebab & Pizza, in Queensway. Magistrates ruled on Monday that the shop must close until the council is satisfied that steps have been taken to deep-clean the premises and remove the rat infestation.

When the Comet called Mega Kebab & Pizza this morning, a member of staff said everything had been sorted out and that they had contacted the council to request a second visit from hygiene officers.

The borough council is yet to carry out a second inspection, and the hygiene emergency prohibition order imposed by the court remains in force.

The council’s safer communities portfolio holder, Councillor Jackie Hollywell, said: “This order shows that we will take action against food premises that put their customers’ health at risk.

“Rats are known to carry parasites, as well as food poisoning bacteria such as salmonella, that can cause ill-health and disease in humans – so we are pleased that this shop will remain closed until work has been carried out to improve its standards of food hygiene and cleanliness.

“We will stay in contact with the shop’s owner to ensure the work is carried out and that the court order is complied with.”

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Court papers indicate that hygiene officers found rat droppings under the display fridge in the front shop area, next to the chiller motor of the refrigerated display unit, under the dough mixer in the preparation area, next to a hole in the wall of a boxed-in void, behind the pizza make-up table, on top of the gas meter at the back of the premises, in the storage area for disposable food containers, and next to the wash-up sink unit.

The court also ordered Mega Kebab & Pizza manager Fouad Abdelnaby to pay costs of £984 to the borough council.

Council environmental health officers visit food premises regularly and assess them on three areas – hygiene, structure and confidence in management.

Each area is then given a score and these are used to calculate a rating on a scale ranging from zero at the bottom – which requires urgent improvement – to a top rating of five, which is very good.

The rating does not reflect the quality of food or the standard of service. As part of the scheme, food businesses are given a window sticker showing the rating achieved.