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Old Kent Road cafe shut down and owner fined nearly £7,000

A café on Old Kent Road was shut down and its manager hauled in front of Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court after a ‘revolting’ rat infestation was uncovered by food hygiene inspectors – prompting a complete overhaul of the premises.

Council workers were said to be  disgusted to find the filthy condition of Cimraan Café at 300 Old Kent Road during a routine inspection held on January 22 last year.

The café was deemed so bad it was immediately closed down, with its 29-year-old owner, Mohamed Mohamud Ahmed from Vicarage Grove in Camberwell, handed costs and fines totalling nearly £7,000 for food safety and hygiene breaches when he appeared at court last Wednesday, January 30.

According to a statement from Southwark Council sent to the News, when questioned inspectors Ahmed ‘displayed a complete lack of understanding regarding cleaning and disinfection’.

Councillor Victoria Mills said: “The owner of Cimraan Café showed blatant disregard for the health and safety of his customers and his staff and his premises was in a terrible state.”

The court heard the kitchen and food storage rooms were infested with rats, covered in dirt and in a bad state of repair.

Rat dropping in grease on the cooking range

Inspectors said Ahmed had no hygiene training records on file and no food safety procedures in place for staff, and the kitchen was so dirty, grease from a ventilation canopy was seen dripping into the cooking range.

Since he appeared in court, Ahmed has pest-proofed the café, deep-cleaned and fitted a new kitchen, and made improvements to the customer toilet.

After another inspection on Tuesday, February 5, inspectors lifted the ban and allowed the café to re-open.

Cllr Mills added: “Council officers work tirelessly to check and support food vendors across Southwark and I hope this prosecution will serve as a reminder to them all to adhere stringently to food safety law and operate using good food hygiene practice.”



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