Hackney restaurant shut immediately after dead rat discovered in kitchen

The dead rat was found in Vietnamese restaurant Cu Tu.

The dead rat was found in Vietnamese restaurant Cu Tu. - Credit: Archant

A Vietnamese restaurant was ordered to close immediately because of an “imminent risk” to diners’ health, after food inspectors found a dead rat under the cooker, their droppings scattered around the kitchen and gnawed food packaging.

An environmental health officer from Hackney Council was just carrying out a routine inspection of Cu Tu last Friday, when they found evidence of rats throughout the Kingsland Road premises.

Droppings were discovered on the floor, on food packaging and on shelving, while gnawed packaging and scraps of nesting material were on the floor and the kitchen was filthy with encrusted dirt and grime.

The council officer applied for a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order at Stratford Magistrates Court today(Tuesday), and the restaurant was told to stop making and serving food immediately.

The owner, T & H Restaurant Ltd, was also ordered to pay the council £620 costs.

Gifty Edila, corporate director for legal, HR and regulatory services at Hackney Council, said: “This is a serious breach of hygiene standards that puts any Hackney resident eating there at risk.

“Hackney’s environmental health officers make regular spot checks and when they find evidence like this they will take immediate action to protect the public.”

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She continued: “Hackney Council will now work with the business to ensure to ensure standards of cleanliness and hygiene are met before it can open its doors again.”

Cu Tu will be closely monitored to ensure that the court order is not breached, and the order will only be lifted by the council if it is satisfied that there is no longer an “imminent risk to health”.

Cu Tu’s manager, Leo Nguyen, said: “Those are the facts, we can’t hide it, but I want the best for the customer, I do agree with the council - it’s unlucky to be shut down but we agree we need to be shut down to sort the problem out.

“We are now blocking all the holes and fixing the problem, we are closing to refurbish the whole thing to make sure that no rats or insects can get in, in the future,

basically we blocked all the holes before but somehow the rats still came in.”

He continued: “At the moment we are looking to improve the situation, we haven’t seen any sign of rats for two days already, and pest control are coming every day, we just want to get back to business as normal.”

Cu Tu, is currently rated zero out of five in the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme.

The council advises customers to check what rating any eatery is before they eat there at www.ratings.food.gov.uk/

Anyone suspecting a business of breaching hygiene standards should contact the council’s environmental health team on 0208 356 4911.

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