Radio Sandwell Local News

Birmingham pizza parlour's cockroach infestation

2015-01-27 00:27:05

Shaid Salim
Shaid Salim

A pizza parlour in Birmingham was forced to temporarily close after health inspectors discovered it was infested with cockroaches.

Pizza Pan in Aldridge Road, Perry Barr, was ordered to shut for three days because of the risk to human health.

Owner Shaid Salim, 38, has now been fined £900 and been ordered to pay £1,998 costs after pleading guilty to one charge under the Food Hygiene Regulations.

The restaurant boss, of Colonial Road, Bordesley Green, was told by magistrates it had been a particularly serious infestation which had built up over a period of time. But they had taken into account his lack of previous convictions and his attempts to restore the business to the level of hygiene it had enjoyed previously.

Julia Kettle, prosecuting for Birmingham City Council, told city magistrates that two environmental health officers made a routine visit on November 25 in 2013 to the takeaway, which sold pizzas as well as fried chicken and fries.

Cockroaches at Pizza Pan

She said: "Officers then began inspecting the premises, starting in the kitchen, and immediately saw dead and live cockroaches on the floor."

She said a cockroach was found behind a cool drinks chiller and under a microwave and one was seen crawling on a wall. The insects were also on work surfaces where pizza boxes were being stored while dead ones were discovered in a store room washing up area. Inspectors found baby cockroaches and eggs and 20 of the insects "huddled together" in a cupboard where pizza bases were kept.

Miss Kettle said there was ready-to-eat salad on a work surface which raised "serious concerns" of the food being contaminated, while there was also an area where dirt and grease had accumulated.

An emergency closure ordered was issued by the city council, but the business was allowed to open again after three days.

Ghulam Sohail, defending, said Salim had been operating the business for 10 years and it had previously been given a high hygiene rating.

A significant amount of work had subsequently been done to prevent rodents or cockroaches getting into the takeaway, he said.

Cockroaches at Pizza Pan

After the case, Coun Barbara Dring, Chair of the city councils Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: "Officers visiting Pizza Pan in November 2013 found a high number of cockroaches (alive and dead), filthy kitchen equipment as well as dirty and contaminated food preparation and storage areas.

"No measures had been taken to prevent pests from getting into these areas, so I am pleased to hear Shaid Salim pleaded guilty and has been ordered to pay nearly £3,000 in fines and costs.

"On average we take emergency action on about 40 food businesses  from between 3,000 and 4,000 inspections  each year, which is a very small proportion of serious problems, all of which are dealt with quickly.

"If consumers wish to report any food hygiene issues they can do this via our website"

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