ENVIRONMENTAL health inspectors immediately shut down a Wigan takeaway after finding a dead rat wedged between two freezers used to store food.
Stunned council officer Lynn Fish made the shocking discovery after a complaint was made about hygiene standards at Krunchy’s Chicken and Pizza in Newtown. She told Wigan Magistrates’ Court how she also found a rat burrow, numerous droppings and evidence that sewage had overflowed on to a store room floor.
Describing the case as an “unusual matter”, Simon Ward, representing Wigan Council, applied for an emergency prohibition order on the grounds that the poor hygiene level represented an immediate risk of injury to health.
Environmental health officer Lynn Fish told how she had responded to a complaint about rubbish accumulation at the back of the Ormskirk Road premises on Monday afternoon.
She immediately spotted rat droppings on a shelf as she walked through to the back of the premises before noticing a dead rat wedged between two freezers.
She also told the court how the lack of doors throughout the property gave the “heavy rat infestation” a free run of the building and how rats had gnawed away at part of the stairway.
She said: “There were three really obvious areas of rat activity, which is dangerous because rats can carry salmonella and e-coli. They can cause serious illness.
“This business should not be allowed to re-open until that health risk has been removed.”
Krunchy’s Chicken and Pizza caretaker boss Juneja Anwar told how the owner of Krunchy’s, Waseem Arshar, was in Pakistan following a family emergency.
Mr Anwar, who had effectively been left in charge, said £9,000 had already been spent on eradicating all the problems, with the final bill likely to be closer to £14,000.
He added that the fault with the drain had been caused further down the line and explained that Krunchy’s had a contract with a pest control company and had simply assumed there was no problem.
Mr Anwar denied having ever seen a rat on the premises and outlined his intention to get the takeaway up to scratch and back open as soon as possible.
However, he did not object to the closure order.
He said: “I can’t object because of what they found. If I was a health and safety officer I would have shut it down too.
“We thought the pest control company had sorted out any problem.”
Magistrates awarded the council costs of just over £1,870.