Rats discovery forces Kilburn restaurant closure

Some 78 eateries in Brent received the lowest hygiene ratings

A Kilburn restaurant has been shut down after a routine hygiene inspection uncovered a rat infestation.

Rodent droppings were found throughout Chinese eatery Yumchi in Willesden Lane, Willesden, last Tuesday, including on the kitchen floor, next to equipment and on shelves where food was stored.

Environmental health officers from Brent Council closed the premises immediately after the inspection and won an order at Brent Magistrates Court on Friday to keep the premises shut until the infestation has been cleared.

Nature’s Bakehouse in Waterloo Road, Cricklewood, was similarly closed earlier this month following the discovery of a mouse infestation.

The enforced closures follows news that dozens of food businesses in Brent have been rated zero for food hygiene.

According to the Scores on the Doors website, a national scheme which rates food businesses out of five stars for food hygiene, there are 78 food establishments in the borough who score zero, and 113 receiving just 1 star.

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It’s not all bad news, though, with 103 food businesses in the borough receiving a 5 star rating, including Brent Magistrates Court.

However, this is one of the lowest figures in London and almost six times as many restaurants in neighbouring Camden were given top marks.

A spokeswoman for Brent Council said: “We are confident that the approach that the council is taking is having the desired effect. However, we believe that progress could be accelerated were more consumers were to stop eating or shopping at food businesses with low scores.”

A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency said: “Around one million people suffer from food poisoning every year, and schemes like the Scores on the Doors scheme that Brent operates aim to reduce this.

“The ratings give consumers a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop, before they make their decision about which place they prefer to visit.

“Businesses with low ratings must make improvements to hygiene standards. Local authorities use a number of enforcement tools as well as giving advice and guidance to make sure these are made.”