Leeds rat-filth takeaway forced to close down

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A Leeds fast food joint has been shut down after environmental health officers raised “serious concerns” over its hygiene standards.

Rat droppings were found on surfaces and in equipment and food handling areas during an inspection of the RFC takeaway, on Cherry Row in Burmantofts.

Leeds City Council has now been granted a hygiene emergency prohibition order at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

The order means that the takeaway must remain closed until officers are satisfied that the danger to the public’s health has been removed.

Coun Mark Dobson, the council’s executive member for cleaner, stronger and safer communities, said: “While we don’t like closing businesses, clearly this business can’t continue to trade whilst there is such risk to public health.

“Environmental health officers are our eyes and ears behind the scenes in kitchens across the city, ensuring businesses comply with food safety legislation and helping them to improve standards.

“Customers of these businesses can access the results of the officers’ hard work through the food hygiene rating scheme.

“Customers can also rest assured in the knowledge that where a business falls short of the required standards, then we will quickly take action.”

Concerns were voiced about cleanliness at RFC following an original inspection in July this year.

Officers began working with the business owner to try to improve matters but another visit earlier this month revealed ongoing “housekeeping and hygiene” issues as well as the evidence of rat activity.

The council regulates all food businesses in Leeds and its environmental health officers perform regular inspections of restaurants, takeaways and other premises to make sure they are meeting their responsibilities on cleanliness.

Once an inspection has been conducted, ratings are given based on a system drawn up by the country’s Food Standards Agency.

Potential customers can carry out a quick and easy check on the hygiene of a specific eatery by visiting the ratings.food.gov.uk website.

Businesses wanting advice on the best ways to maintain cleanliness can get in touch with experts at the council on 0113 247 6286 or food.safety@leeds.gov.uk.

Residents can also lodge complaints about establishments with the local authority via the same contact points.

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