Soho tapas bar given terrible hygiene rating after rat poo found in kitchen
A London tapas bar has been given a terrible hygiene rating after rat poo was found in the kitchen. Rat droppings were discovered in the basement kitchen at Pix Pintxos on Bateman Street, Soho during an inspection on January 6. The hygiene report from Westminster City Council says the inspection took place after a complaint of alleged food poisoning.
The report says: “A small amount of rat faeces were found on the floor in the basement kitchen behind appliances. The standard of cleaning in the basement kitchen and ground floor bar area was poor particularly behind appliances. At the time of my visit no sanitiser or disinfectant was readily available in the basement kitchen for cleaning and disinfecting work surfaces.Some of the floor and wall tiles in the kitchen were found to be broken and harboring grease and dirt.At the time of my visit a hole was noted in the staircase which may allow access to pests.”
The business was given a one out of five food hygiene rating and told “major improvement” was needed for cleanliness and the condition of facilities and the building. The bar was dubbed “generally satisfactory” for handling food hygienically and managing food safety.
The officer told the bar to get rid of any pests, thoroughly clean and disinfect the place where droppings were found, deep clean and de-clutter the basement kitchen and ground floor bar, ensure sanitiser is available where necessary, block any holes that may give access to pests, and maintain clean floors and walls.
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The bar’s partner-director Theo claimed the council officer found just one rat dropping in the kitchen during service. He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “Every other aspect of our business got five stars. However, if one rat dropping is found, that brings the whole thing into disrepute. I was quite furious about this. I actually think that the system is.” unfit.”
Theo said he is appealing the council’s decision, which cost him £250, and there is no longer any rodent. He said the business usually gets high ratings but was unlucky, arguing the food hygiene system was inconsistent. He added: “This is Soho and sometimes a rat does get into a building.
“This is the middle of one of the oldest parts of London. We are in a building from the late-1800s. It’s isn’t an excuse, it’s still absolutely revolting, but we have basically got rid of them. We have spent quite a lot of money making sure there were no holes. At the end of the day, we still had one rat and we caught that rat. Since then we don’t have any activity and we have ramped-up the number of visits we get from our pest control.”
The council’s cabinet member for communities and regeneration Heather Acton said: “It’s the council’s responsibility to ensure good standards of hygiene in Westminster’s restaurants and, unfortunately, in this case, it’s clear that these standards had not been met.
“The council’s environmental health officers follow a fair and transparent process when carrying out these investigations, and we also work with business owners and managers to improve hygiene issues and make sure that these environmental health standards are maintained.”