A DECOMPOSING mouse and cockroaches in the fridge were discovered at a Southall restaurant whose owner has been put on ice.
Gurdev Singh Matharu, owner of Paradise Tandoori Restaurant in North Road - which had already been closed down twice - has been given a court order banning him managing a food business for at least six months.
Matharu appeared at Isleworth Crown Court last month, where he pleaded guilty to 30 food hygiene offences. As well as the ban, Mr Matharu was given a 12-month community order requiring him to complete 80 hours of unpaid work and was told to pay £2,000 towards the council’s costs.
Inspectors from Ealing’s Food Safety Team first paid a visit to the venue in April 2011, following a complaint from a member of the public who had seen a rat on the premises.
The team made a series of repulsive discoveries including mouse droppings near food, amongst the pots and pans and throughout the rest of the restaurant. Spilled mice bait was found in a storage room in the kitchen and at one point a rat was spotted peering through a skylight leading into the building.
Mr Matharu agreed to voluntarily close the restaurant while work was carried out to remove the risk to health and it reopened in May 2011.
Paradise Tandoori was next visited in October but once again, the restaurant was in a revolting state. Cockroaches were found in the kitchen and there were signs of a mouse infestation, including fresh droppings and a decomposing mouse behind a water pipe.
There were also two open drains, as well as many other openings that could be used by mice and cockroaches to get inside.
The restaurant’s main food chiller was dirty, with food being stored uncovered. An open box of samosas was discovered under a work surface when it should have been kept in a fridge.
Routine food checks were found to be inadequate, and in some cases, falsified. Inspectors closed the restaurant down again that day.
Pat Hayes, executive director for Planning and Regeneration at Ealing, said: “These are very serious offences and I am pleased that the court agreed with us that Mr Matharu’s willingness to put the public at risk was completely unacceptable.
“He is now banned from managing a food business for at least six months and will have to satisfy the court that he is fit to do so before they lift the order.”
Around three restaurants a month are closed down in Southall for breaching food hygiene regulations.