Mice and cockroach infestations and a worker sleeping in a larder were among the health hazards spotted by inspectors at food outlets across Hounslow, the Chronicle can reveal.

They were just some of the filthy sights found at the 11 restaurants and shops in the borough to receive zero out of five last year in the national Food Hygiene Ratings scheme.

The Chronicle has obtained the stomach-churning warning letters sent by the council’s food safety team to each of those businesses, all of which have since cleaned up their act.

Cockroaches were seen crawling over work surfaces and equipment at two restaurants, while a ‘severe’ mouse infestation was found in the cellar and storage area of a Chiswick convenience store.

At a fish and chip shop in Hounslow, a worker was found sleeping on a bed in the food storage room.

Filthy floors, salad sitting at room temperature and bird droppings on the door handle of a downstairs loo were among the other potential breeding grounds for bacteria discovered by horrified inspectors.

However, subsequent visits showed improvements had been made at all 11 outlets – with inspectors awarding one a four star rating and saying at least two others now merited three stars.

Nearly 60 per cent of the 1,420 premises in the borough serving food, including schools and leisure centre cafes, received four or five stars in the rating system. Just under 14 per cent were awarded one or no stars.

Councillor Ed Mayne, Hounslow’s cabinet member for community safety and regulation, said: “The vast majority of our eateries meet the high standards we expect.

“However, there are 11 eateries currently rated as zero – 0.76 per cent of all outlets in Hounslow. All 11 have been inspected and ordered to make improvements by the council.

“Hounslow Council takes its responsibilities for checking food standards in the borough extremely seriously and we will not hesitate to act swiftly to protect consumers and clamp down on those who do not come up to scratch.”

* To see how your local restaurant scores when it comes to hygiene, visit http://ratings.food.gov.uk.

WHAT INSPECTORS FOUND

Best One, Turnham Green Terrace, Chiswick

Inspected on May 28, 2013

THEN: A severe mouse infestation was found in the store and cellar, and hand wash basins in toilet were not being used

NOW: At a follow-up visit in June, inspectors found no new pest activity and standards were much improved

Captain Hook’s, St John’s Road, Isleworth

Inspected on June 17, 2013

THEN: Temperatures were not monitored and salad was left unrefrigerated at peak times

NOW: Regular visits have since been carried out and improvements have been made

Faanoos Restauant, Chiswick High Road, Chiswick

Inspected on November 18, 2013

THEN: Despite ‘superficial’ cleaning, much of the premises was in an ‘unacceptable’ condition and kitchen hand wash basins were out of order

NOW: When inspectors returned four days later, they found cleaning standards much improved

What they said: “We have complied with all the regulations the health inspector required and we continue to do so.”

Hussar Bar & Restaurant, in Staines Road, Hounslow, was one of 11 establishments in the borough to get a food hygiene rating of zero last year. Council inspectors have since revisited and awarded it four stars.
Hussar Bar & Restaurant, in Staines Road, Hounslow, was one of 11 establishments in the borough to get a food hygiene rating of zero last year. Council inspectors have since revisited and awarded it four stars.
 

The Hussar Bar & Restaurant, Staines Road, Hounslow

Inspected on August 30, 2013

THEN: Live cockroaches seen on food surfaces in the kitchen

NOW: The kitchen was closed and reopened after treatment and a deep clean. Following an inspection last Friday (January 31), it has now been awarded a four star rating.

What they said: “Our standards are significantly higher”

ISO Sushi, Twickenham Road, Isleworth

Inspected on November 29, 2013

THEN: Temperatures - including that of cooling sushi rice, which is a potential health hazard - were not properly monitored and the floor was dirty

NOW: Regular visits have since been made and improvements have been observed

Kebabish Original, Bath Road, Hounslow

Inspected on December 3, 2013

THEN: Boiler was out of order, surfaces were not properly disinfected and there was a serious build-up of rubbish

NOW: Improvements were made and the premises re-opened the following day. The takeaway store is still being monitored

What they said: “The council inspector who visited this week was very happy. We have made all the required improvements except for the food safety book, which they are coming in the next week to show us how to fill in correctly.”

King Karahi, in Great West Road, Hounslow, was one of 11 establishments in the borough to get a food hygiene rating of zero last year. Council inspectors say standards have since improved considerably.
King Karahi, in Great West Road, Hounslow, was one of 11 establishments in the borough to get a food hygiene rating of zero last year. Council inspectors say standards have since improved considerably.
 

King Karahi, Great West Road, Hounslow

Inspected on August 1

THEN: Cockroaches found crawling up the walls and over equipment

NOW: A series of follow-up visits were made, with inspectors finding cleaning much improved and no new cockroach activity

Kings Fish Bar, Whitton Road, Hounslow (now called Ocean Grill)

Inspected on October 25, 2013

THEN: The main food handler was found sleeping in the storage room, salad was stored at 15C and cooking was being done in the lobby area

NOW: Inspectors say standards have improved ‘drastically’ and it could even merit a five-star rating

Mawal Garden, Hanworth Road, Hounslow

Inspected on February 18, 2013

THEN: Mouse activity seen in the basement and dough preparation room, and cream found which was past its use-by date

NOW: Improvements have been made

Punjabi Karahi, Kingsley Road, Hounslow

Inspected on December 9, 2013

THEN: Inspectors found filthy floors, bird droppings on the door handle of the basement toilet and rat droppings in the outside caged area

NOW: Improvements mean it would now rate as a three star premises

Rocky’s, Bath Road, Cranford

Inspected on September 10, 2013

THEN: Kitchen basins were not being used and raw meat was stored on and above ready-to-eat food

NOW: Improvements mean it would now rate as a three star premises

What they said: “The council inspector came two weeks ago and said it was much better.”