Fined: Owner of Barking restaurant found with cockroach infestation

Eastern Paradise is in Ripple Road, Barking. Picture credit: Google.

Eastern Paradise is in Ripple Road, Barking. Picture credit: Google. - Credit: Archant

The owner of an Indian restaurant in Barking which was closed after a customer spotted a cockroach in the dining hall has been fined more than £5,000.

Health inspectors found the insects crawling in the kitchen and dining area inside Eastern Paradise in Ripple Road, earlier this year after being alerted by the diner.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard owner Molik Choudhury was aware of the cockroach problem and told the premises posed an “immediate risk to public health”, yet continued to trade.

Cooked food was also left uncovered on the worktop and inside the a fridge in the eatery which had defective wall coverings within the kitchen, above the sink and in the storeroom.

Following the unannounced inspection Choudhury voluntarily agreed to close the restaurant which since reopened following a “deep clean”.

Last week, Choudhury pleaded guilty to a series of food hygiene breaches at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard how, following a complaint of a cockroach spotted in the dining hall, heath inspectors carried out an announced visit and found five major offences.

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Choudhury had failed to register his restaurant or put in place a food safety system based on the required Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, inspectors said.

The latter, they added, was down to a lack of monitoring records.

Choudhury was made to pay a £2,500 fine, £50 victim surcharge, with costs of £2589.50 awarded to the council.

“This judgement sends out a clear message that we will not tolerate businesses who are not prepared to act in a manner that is socially responsible,” said Cllr Laila Butt.

The cabinet member for enforcement and community safety added: “We will clamp down on any restaurants or business who are not following the right food hygiene standards.

“We want all our residents and visitors to our borough to feel comfortable in the knowledge they are eating food that is being stored and prepared in the right way.”

According to Barking and Dagenham Council, Eastern Paradise has a hygiene rating of four, representing “good” food safety conditions.