Takeaway overrun with rats shut down

A Wigan takeaway which inspired a Facebook group naming and shaming the town's dirtiest eateries has been closed down after inspectors found it was overrun with rats.

Wednesday, 25th October 2017, 8:28 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 9:25 am
Sicily Pizza in Newtown

A court judgement has been plastered on the door of Sicily Pizza on Ormskirk Road, Newtown, warning legal action had been taken to shut the filth-infested fast food outlet to avoid “risk of injury” to customers.

The order warns that inspectors found vermin throughout the takeaway, including the fridge area where pizza toppings were stored.

It is not known if or when Sicily Pizza will reopen.

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The notice pinned to the front door explained the closure was due to “an imminent risk of injury to health to due evidence of widespread infestation of rats,” including in the toilets.

The shop’s owner, Mohamed Eturki, has been ordered to pay £838 over the alarming incident.

The takeaway had a routine unannounced inspection at the end of August, which resulted in a one star rating - the second lowest possible score.

It was found to require “major improvement” on its management of food safety, which requires systems or checks to be put in place to ensure that food served is safe to eat, as well as being able to prove that staff know enough about food safety.

Improvement was also deemed necessary for Sicily Pizza’s hygienic food handling and also the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building. The eatery’s problems appear to be long-running, with a score of negative reviews consistently cropping up online over several years.

In 2008, one Facebook user Ben Smith revealed his order was “absolutely dreadful,” so much so that he was inspired to set up a group called “worst takeaway in Wigan.”

The owners of Sicily Pizza were unavailable for comment.

Coun Kevin Anderson, cabinet member for environment at Wigan Council, said: “We will always work with businesses to support them in complying with legal requirements.

"However, we will prosecute where necessary if businesses are in need of major improvement and have committed serious offences.

“This case presented a high risk to the public and is a clear message that food owners must take their hygiene responsibilities seriously.”

The council also noted that the premises was carrying out improvements as a result, but as the investigation was ongoing, further information was unavailable at this stage.