Page last updated at 14:30 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 15:30 UK

KFC fined over cockroach at Leicester Square branch

A cockroach on a chip in the KFC outlet
A picture showing a cockroach eating a chip during the inspection

Kentucky Fried Chicken has been fined £19,000 after flies, a cockroach and a mouse were found in one of its busiest branches in London's West End.

Health inspectors found a cockroach eating a chip near takeaway boxes and tongs in the Leicester Square branch, City of Westminster magistrates heard.

The council inspector also found there was no hand wash for staff in the food preparation area.

The firm admitted breaching five hygiene rules in August 2008.

KFC spokeswoman Nina Arnott said: "The restaurant has undergone a complete renovation, and the environmental health officer's barrister has told the District Judge that there is no longer a concern about these premises."

'Simply unacceptable'

Prosecutor Michael Goodwin told magistrates: "There was no soap in the ground-floor food preparation room so, on the day of the inspection at least, it was not possible for food preparation staff to wash their hands properly."

Four months ahead of the inspection, by Westminster City Council, the Coventry Street outlet, which takes about 1,600 orders a day and seats 100 people, had received a "specific warning" about its hygiene practices.

David Whiting, mitigating, said the fast-food giant took the inspection "very seriously".

A 2008 picture of the KFC branch
There was no hand wash in the food preparation area

"They fell below their own high standards and below legal standards," he added.

Since that inspection the branch has undergone a £600,000 refurbishment and the contractor employed to deal with pest control problems has been changed at all their UK branches.

The firm pleaded guilty to failure to keep the premises clean, not keeping the building maintained and in good repair and not having adequate procedures in place to prevent pest control.

It also admitted failure to ensure that the layout, design and construction permitted good food hygiene practices and failure to ensure that materials for cleaning hands were available at hand basins.

The company was fined £11,000 for the offences and ordered to pay the legal costs.

After the hearing a spokesman for Westminster City Council said: "The standards of hygiene at this restaurant were appalling and simply unacceptable."



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