May 21 2013 Latest news:
by DAN GRIMMER
Saturday, August 11, 2012
A city supermarket has been shut down on public health grounds after council officers discovered it was infested with rats and cockroaches.
A court, after hearing how bags of food at the Asian Bazaar in Magdalen Street had been gnawed through by rats and cockroaches had infested the store, agreed yesterday to award Norwich City Council an emergency prohibition order to stop it from trading.
The order, which was served on the supermarket’s owner Shaju Joseph, means the shop must remain closed to the public until it has been thoroughly deep cleaned by pest control experts to rid it of the vermin and insect infestation.
Norwich Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday how the city council’s environmental health officers had carried out a routine check on the shop. Yvonne Blake, seeking the prohibition order on behalf of the city council, said officers had discovered a rat and cockroach infestation.
The judge was shown photographs which were taken by council officers and Ms Blake said: “There were cockroaches on the wall and food bags had been gnawed. There had been attempts to poison the rats and cockroaches, with dead cockroaches.
“There were photographs of a rat running through the shop and bags of gnawed rice.”
She added: “In fairness to Mr Joseph, he did pay for two treatments in July, but that did not prove sufficient. There were both adults and nymph cockroaches, so there is a cycle of eggs being laid at the premises.
“It is also fair to say Mr Joseph has been fully co-operative with the council and has employed infestation experts.
“But the shop has got to be deep cleaned and various traps laid down, so it may take a while before the shop can be safely re-opened to the public.
“There’s an inherent risk to public health because rats’ urine can carry Weil’s Disease and there are bags of food in there that rats have been eating.
“The council is as keen as Mr Joseph is to get this problem sorted out as quickly as possible.”
Mr Joseph, 52, of Jamieson Place, told the court that before the council inspection he had been aware he had a problem and had been trying to deal with it.
He said he was happy to fully co-operate with the council to get the supermarket cleaned up.
District judge Peter Veits told Mr Joseph: “I am going to have to make the prohibition notice and hopefully in the not too distant future you will be up and trading again.
“But obviously, I have got to think of the public who buy food from your premises and might become very ill.
“I am satisfied from the evidence that there is an infestation of rats and cockroaches and it would be a risk to public health to allow the premises to remain open.”
He said the order would remain in place until the city council’s environmental health team were confident the shop’s pest problems no longer posed a risk to public health.