When the local food inspectorate inspected a McDonald’s in the London suburb of Leytonstone, England, they were greeted by a shocking sight.
Inspectors discovered an active rat attack, and were forced to close the fast food restaurant which is usually busy during the day.
It emerged from one pers conference issued by the Waltham Forest City Council, which made the final decision to close the restaurant.
– It is believed that this is the first case of its kind against a fast food chain in more than 20 years, in which local authorities have ceased operations, they wrote.
Sending customers to the door
The inspection took place on Friday October 15, and was completed before lunch time.
However, when the Norwegian Food Safety Authority had reviewed the hygienic conditions in the restaurant, customers were instead asked to leave the premises.
– The inspections came as a result of complaints from customers indicating that there was rodent activity in the restaurant, that they had found rat droppings in the kitchen and dead rats in cupboards, the city council wrote.
And yes, when the Norwegian Food Safety Authority came to visit, they found dead rats and large amounts of rat droppings strewn on the dirty floor.
It was concluded that these conditions pose a hazard to public health, and the restaurant is closed indefinitely.
Closed until further notice
On Thursday 21 October, the Magistrates’ Court in the Thames ruled to issue an emergency ban – meaning that the restaurant cannot reopen until the error has been corrected and no longer poses a risk to customers.
McDonald’s has not disputed the decision, and has also decided to pay the costs associated with the shutdown, which amounted to more than 20,000 kroner.
Clyde Loakes, who is vice chairman of Waltham Forest City Council, said they would not hesitate to act when the company did not meet requirements.
– We take all complaints about food hygiene seriously, regardless of how small or big the restaurant is. “Customers need to be able to eat safely, and we won’t hesitate to shop when the company doesn’t meet the requirements,” Loakes said.
– We know that McDonald’s has a clean reputation, which is why these cases are rare. I understand that this is the first time in more than two decades that local inspections have closed one of their restaurants, he said, and continued:
– Rats can carry various diseases that can infect humans and are very harmful. I am pleased that the company has acknowledged its guilt in this incident, and that they are cooperating with the city council food inspection.
– Hold on right away
According to local newspapers and British tabloids London Night Standard A McDonald’s spokesperson said that cleanliness and hygiene were of the utmost importance to the restaurant chain.
– As soon as we recognize the problem, we start working with our partners in pest control to take immediate action. This includes cleaning the restaurant thoroughly, and implementing structural changes to ensure that hygiene issues are resolved once and for all, the spokesperson said.