The owner of a Nepalese Northolt restaurant has been prosecuted and fined after inspectors found evidence of rodents being in the main kitchen and throughout as well as people being caught smoking inside.

Officers from Ealing Council's food and workplace safety team found evidence of poor cleaning and rodent activity throughout Thamel Bar and Grill when they inspected.

They first visited on April 18, 2018, after receiving complaints that people were smoking inside the restaurant, on Pett's Hill, and that licensing conditions were being ignored.

An officer saw people smoking in an enclosed area, with no attempts being made by staff to stop it from happening. Additionally ‘no smoking’ signs were not displayed.

The Director of the business, Vijay Rai, was taken to court by the council and he pleaded guilty on October 29 to two offences under the Food Safety Food (Hygiene) Regulations 2006 - failing to keep the premises clean and failing to have adequate procedures to control pests.

The Thamel Bar and Grill in Northolt showed evidence of a lot of rodent activity

He also pleaded guilty to offences under the Health Act 2006 for failing to prevent people from smoking in the premises and failing to display 'no smoking' signs.

Rai was fined £4,000 in total and was ordered to pay the council's legal costs of £914.

The council says it understands the restaurant has now closed after it made a number of unsuccessful attempts to inspect it.

Councillor Joanna Camadoo, cabinet member for community safety and inclusion, said: "Our officers work closely with local businesses to help them to operate within the law and they give advice and to help them to be well-run and safe.

One of the dirty kitchen areas uncovered by food safety inspectors

"Food hygiene, licensing and smoking compliance is vitally important and businesses who aren’t within the law won’t be tolerated. Thamel Bar and Grill failed to show care and safety and we’re pleased to see a fine being handed down to them. It shows that both the council and the courts are serious about enforcement and punishing those who openly break the rules."

The council’s regulatory services team advise food businesses to regularly check that cleaning standards and licensing are being maintained and food safety procedures are implemented at all times.

Customers can check food hygiene ratings of all restaurants and takeaways online at www.food.gov.uk .