Cockroaches and mice droppings found in Plaistow take-away

Food left out next to rubbish

Food left out next to rubbish - Credit: Archant

Cockroaches, mice droppings, hobs covered in grease and food left to cool next to bags of rubbish are some of the findings that prompted environmental health officers to shut down a Chinese take-away kitchen.

Fat and food covering the wok hob

Fat and food covering the wok hob - Credit: Archant

It’s thought Golden Dragon, Barking Road, Plaistow, may have been trading for at least a month before it was officially closed by court order at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

“It’s one of the worst I’ve seen in 12 years,” said Matthew Collins, principal environmental health officer for Newham Council.

He said the conditions at the take-away were found to pose a risk of food poisoning, contamination of food and that there was a lack of formal management. Officers shut immediately to shut it down.

The team had a tip-off in November about the premises, but on the first two visits environmental health officer Edward King – who cannot speak to the Recorder while proceedings are ongoing – found the shutters down and the building seemingly closed.

Cockroaches behind refrigeration units

Cockroaches behind refrigeration units - Credit: Archant

Mr Collins said: “On the third visit, Mr King stood on the other side of the road and watched a man leave the premises with a bag that looked like one used for transporting hot food.”

“He knocked on the shutter and went in – as he was entitled to do – and found it in an awful condition. There was a risk of food poisoning as well as contamination from the droppings and cockroaches.”

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The business was served a notice to cease trading immediately but not before it had been taking orders online through popular website Just Eat.

The premises had previously operated under the name Sancho’s but had disappeared off the council’s radar “a couple of years ago”, said Mr Collins.

Mouse droppings next to bottles of sauce

Mouse droppings next to bottles of sauce - Credit: Archant

He added: “There are about 2,000 food businesses in Newham and they change hands quite regularly. I’d say we shut down one every two weeks on average, which I believe is the highest figure in London.”

Since the start of the year, a total of 31 businesses have been closed down in the borough, showing the council’s tough stance on poor hygiene in restaurants and take-aways in Newham.

The owners of Golden Dragon will be given the chance to reopen their business once they have improved their standards, taking measures to improve pest control and being thoroughly cleaned.

A spokeswoman for Newham Council said they intended to interview the owner before deciding whether to take further action.

The Recorder attempted to contact the owners, but they could not be reached.

A spokesman for Just Eat said: “As soon as we’re informed a restaurant has been closed we work quickly to remove it from our website and, as this restaurant has been closed by the local authorities, there’s no risk of a customer receiving food from it.”

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