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14 April 2010, 15:36
A restaurant in Oxford is now open after being closed down when environmental health officers found an infestation of mice and cockroaches.
Environmental Officers were called to Cafe Rouge in Little Clarendon Street when a customer spotted a mouse.
Café Rouge was closed and issued with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice on Friday 9 April after evidence of serious mice and cockroaches infestations were found. It was re-opened on Tuesday night.
Richard Kuziara, Environmental Officer at Oxford City Coucil, told Heart they closed the restaurant after it posed an 'imminent risk' which means they thought customers were at risk from falling ill. He said they'll continue checks on the restaurant and will monitor it very closely the cockroach traps and glue traps for mice. He described the restaurant's building as a 'sieve' meaning there were many holes where mice and rats could enter.
A spokeman for Cafe Rouge told Heart:
"We can confirm that our Cafe Rouge Oxford restaurant is now open for business. We strive to ensure the highest standards of food safety and service are undertaken."
Speaking after it was closed, Andy Forbes, Environmental Health Officer at Oxford City Council, said:
“We found evidence of a heavy infestation of mice and there were holes all over the place where mice had been getting through. There were also lots of adult cockroaches which indicates a long-standing problem.
"Café Rouge hadn’t acted upon their pest control companies recommendations and as a result conditions had deteriorated to a level where we considered there to be an imminent risk to health. We used our Emergency Prohibition powers to immediately close down the restaurant on Friday and have applied to the Magistrates Court for a Prohibition Order.”
Café Rouge is the fourth food business to be closed down by Oxford City Council’s Food Safety Team in the last 12 months. The Oisi Master Sushi Bar, St Clements, J.M. Halal, Cowley Road and the Al-Shami restaurant in Jericho were all closed after Environmental Health Officers found conditions and hygiene practices to be unacceptable.
Ian Wright, Health Development Service Manager at Oxford City Council, said:
“Safeguarding the health of the public is our number one priority and we will always take the necessary action to ensure people are not put at risk.”
Oxford City Council's Food Inspectors are checking other businesses in the area to ensure that they have not been affected by mice and cockroaches.