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Sushi bar closed after traces of rodents found

PUBLISHED: 12:53 06 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:54 25 August 2010

RAT and mice infestations forced health inspectors to close a sushi bar to protect the public after a surprise visit.

RAT and mice infestations forced health inspectors to close a sushi bar to protect the public after a surprise visit.

Greenwich council slapped an emergency prohibition order on Itoshii Sushi Bar and Restaurant, Nelson Road after an environmental health officer's unannounced visit on April 20.

The checks were to see if the business, run by Thai Chung Ltd, had carried out improvements from a visit a month earlier. But there was still evidence of mice and rats found in the storeroom, kitchen and inside the wok burner cooker.

There were large holes in the walls, giving rodents easy access to the restaurant and the general cleanliness of the premises was found to be below standard.

Matthew Norwell, assistant chief executive for community safety and integrated enforcement, said: "The council will continue to carry out unannounced visits to food businesses in order to safeguard customers' health.

"We also want residents to enjoy their leisure time in the borough without worrying about putting their health at risk."

Council officers took photographic evidence at Itoshii Sushi Bar and Restaurant which was later used in court and, as a result, an emergency prohibition order was issued.

Magistrates ordered operators, Thai Chung Ltd, to stay closed until the pest infestations were controlled.

The restaurant was allowed to reopen late on Friday, April 23 after an intensive clean up operation and the installation of pest control treatments.

To avoid heavy penalties, catering businesses will be able to participate in a project run by the council to gain advice on how to comply with food safety law.

Greenwich council will be offering free seminars and coaching sessions to eligible businesses for a limited period.

For further information and eligibility, call the council's environmental health team on: 020 8921 8186.


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