Ilford restaurant owner ‘responsible’ for mice infestation and risk of food poisoning

An Ilford restaurant owner was responsible for a mice infestation which left diners at a serious risk of food poisoning, a court heard today.

Batir Miah, 40, of Mighell Avenue, Ilford, was due to be sentenced this afternoon after admitting seven breaches of European Commission and food hygiene regulations.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Mr Miah’s Indian restaurant, Muhib Indian Cuisine, in Brick Lane, Tower Hamlets, had “no area in the kitchen or basement that was free from the presence of mice”.

Three rotting mice at various stages of decomposition were discovered on a trap and a cockroach was found in the kitchen when environmental health officers did a routine spot check in April 2011.

Droppings were found in boxes of lettuces, tomatoes and peppers, as well as in takeaway containers.

And an area used to store cleaning products was littered with rodent faeces, the court heard.

The restaurant was shut down almost immediately after the inspection.

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It was owned by Rayhill Limited, of which Miah was a director.

The company has since gone into liquidation forcing Miah, a father-of-four, to work as a waiter.

Prosecutor Archie Maddan said Miah received notices in November 2010 and March 2011 warning him his housekeeping must improve.

Defending, Brian Richardson told the court Miah was away in Birmingham at the time of the inspection and had left two staff in charge of the restaurant.

Mr Richardson said: “After these matters were brought to his attention he sent his staff on courses and spent something like �10,000 trying to rectify the problem but because of the bad publicity he received, he was not able to get the business up and running again.

“There have been no complaints from members of the public.”