Cockroach infestation forces bakery closure

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

London Wholesale Bakery was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 for a cockroach infestation
London Wholesale Bakery was ordered to pay costs of £1,500 for a cockroach infestation

Related tags: Food safety, Hygiene

A London-based bakery has been forced to pay costs of more than £1,500, after an infestation of cockroaches closed down the business.

London Wholesale Bakery in Coppen Road, Dagenham, was shut down on October 5 after health inspectors found “a kitchen full of cockroaches”.

Officers reported evidence of the insects at all stages of the food preparation process, including cooking, cooling and storage areas of the building. Cockroaches were spotted crawling on the bakery’s equipment, walls, floors and ceiling.

The infestation was deemed by inspectors to pose a significant risk of food contamination, as well as a risk to public health.

Emergency prohibition order

Representatives from the company were summoned to Barkingside Magistrates Court, where magistrates awarded an emergency prohibition order, endorsing the council’s move to close the premises.

London Wholesale Bakery was ordered to pay Barking and Dagenham Council costs of £1,560.

The business would only be allowed to reopen if council officers were satisfied that its condition no longer posed a threat to public health.

The bakery is currently engaging in an extermination program, which is being monitored by the council.

Commenting on the infestation, Laila Butt, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, said: “London Wholesale Bakery’s premises were found to be in a quite disgusting condition, so it is undoubtedly a victory not just for our residents, but it also sends out a clear message that we will do everything in our power to protect the public health,”

‘Play by the rules’

“If you want to run a business in our borough then you have to play by the rules and that includes keeping your premises in a clean and hygienic condition.”

This year has seen a number of food and drink firms shut down for health and safety breaches caused by infestations.

Last month, Pearl Food Distribution was fined £12,000 for food hygiene offences, after inspectors found rat and mouse urine and droppings​ in its warehouse.

Meanwhile, in March, bakery retailer Sayers was fined more than £160,000​ for 13 food safety breaches, after cockroach and mice infestations were identified at its Poundcafe in Liverpool.

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