Two-week ban for takeaway with mice infestation

Tikka Masala was given an emergency action order. Picture: Toby Williams
Tikka Masala was given an emergency action order. Picture: Toby Williams
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A RESTAURANT was banned from serving food for two weeks after inspectors discovered it awash with mice.

Tikka Masala Indian Takeaway, on Pleasance, was slapped with emergency action after city council food safety officers turned up unannounced.

They found mouse droppings on surfaces and flagged up concerns over a leaking waste pipe.

Almost 30 venues serving food across the Capital failed health inspections over the last year, new figures have revealed.

Warnings were dished out over a series of issues, ranging from the cross-contamination of raw meat to toilets opening directly into food preparation areas.

But it was Tikka Masala which faced the stiffest sanction after inspectors ruled in April this year that its premises were “filthy and verminous with an active mouse infestation”.

As well as the leaking pipe, which was causing the floor to perish, a malfunctioning boiler meant there was no hot water for cleaning dishes and washing hands.

When an inspector returned a month later, the drainage facilities were noted as being “inadequate” because food waste and grease was blocking pipes.

They added: “Rodents are then feeding on this and then entering the building via gaps in the walls of the chamber.”

Inspectors raised concerns about 28 premises across the Capital between June 2013 and this year, according to documents released to the Evening News under the Freedom of Information Act.

In February, The Pine Tree Bakery, on Home Street, was found to have “foul water coming up through the floor into the bakery”.

At Queen Spice, on the High Street in South Queensferry, officers found that the entire food production process was not protected against contamination.

Malcolm Duck, chairman of the Edinburgh Restaurateurs Association, said he believed the Capital was generally a safe place to eat out.

“We are working with live food in a live operation and there are always going to be day-to-day running issues,” Mr Duck said.

“We always would say health and safety and hygiene is absolutely paramount, but overall I would think that the Edinburgh eating scene is a pretty safe and enjoyable place to eat.”

Deputy council leader Steve Cardownie said it was important that restaurants falling foul of health standards were exposed and then 
punished.

He said: “Everyone is well aware of the hygiene standards that are required so there’s no excuse for operating under these circumstances.

“I think the council is quite right [to punish restaurants].

“The book should be thrown at these restaurants – they themselves should know the conditions under which they work.”

No-one at the Tikka Masala Indian Takeaway was available for comment.