Restaurant stopped from using food storage area following rat problem

Released on March 16, 2017

An Indian restaurant has been temporarily stopped from using a food storage area and cellar after Environmental Health Officers found evidence of rat activity. 

Officers from South Oxfordshire District Council visited The Star and Garter, in Wellington St, Thame, on Thursday 9 March to carry out an unannounced routine food hygiene inspection.  During the inspection the officers found rat droppings and clear damage to the structure of the rear storage area and cellar. 

To prevent the restaurant using the storage area and cellar until the problem had been resolved, and sufficient measures taken to prevent it from happening in the future, the officers served a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice. 

The Environmental Health Officers visited the premises again on Monday 13 March and were satisfied that the business had taken steps to remove the risk to the public by carrying out necessary improvements.  As a result, they issued a certificate allowing the restaurant to operate as normal. 

On Tuesday 14 March Oxford Magistrates’ endorsed the decision to issue the prohibition notice, agreeing that there had been an imminent risk to peoples’ health.   The Star and Garter was also ordered to pay the council’s £1,443 costs. 

South Oxfordshire District Council continues to work with the business to help it improve its compliance with food safety and hygiene requirements. 

Cllr Tony Harbour, Cabinet Member for Food and Safety at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “Food premises have an obligation to ensure they protect against potential pest problems.  If they fail to do this they could put customers’ health at risk and we would have no alternative but to take immediate action.”