Vietnamese restaurant, Loong Kee, 134G-F Kingsland Road, was closed down by Hackney Council on Friday 12 April.
At Stratford Magistrates Court on Tuesday 16 April, District Judge Hamilton upheld the Council’s decision to close the building after a customer complained of seeing a cockroach whilst dining. He agreed that there was a health risk condition and he commented that the businesses approach to pest control was “absolutely hopeless”. He added: “the customers could see them (the cockroaches), but the staff can’t… worrying isn’t it? The District Judge also ordered the owner of the restaurant to pay costs of £620 to the Council.
Soon after the Council received the complaint, an Environmental Health Officer visited the restaurant and carried out an inspection. It was decided there and then that there was a risk to people’s health and the restaurant was closed down. The owner L.K Cafe Limited was served with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition notice for a widespread cockroach infestation, poor cleaning and structural deficiencies. Before it can reopen the owner must carry out work to make the premises fit to trade again. This includes:
• a deep clean of the premises;
• a robust cleaning and sanitisation plan detailing how this will be implemented each day; and
• a pest control plan.
The restaurant will remain closed until the owner advises the Council he is ready for re-inspection. If after the re-inspection the Environmental Health Officer is satisfied with all the changes then the restaurant can re -open.
Councillor Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods said: “I want to ensure that the premises our residents and visitors are eating in meet the required standards. Where it doesn’t customers should contact the Council and the environmental health team will carry out checks to ensure standards of cleanliness and hygiene are met. We will take the required action and work with the business to ensure they make the necessary changes before we allow them to reopen.”
Đỗ Thanh Bình, owner of Loong Kee restaurant has contacted Hackney Hive several times to clarify the issue of his restaurants temporary closure. In his own words:
Our restaurant was visited by a Hackney heath & hygiene inspector on 12/4. As the result, we were closed due to unsatisfactory inspection. We were given few days for organise deep cleaning. On 18/4 the inspector visited us and was happy with our progress. And our restaurant was re-opened on that day.