Poor food hygiene standards lead to closure of restaurant

Published: Friday, 31st August 2018

A restaurant in Hythe Bridge Street was closed by Oxford City Council after serious failures in food safety and hygiene standards were discovered.

The Council’s environmental health officers carried out an inspection on Sojo restaurant following a complaint from a member of the public who found a cockroach in their meal. During their visit to investigate on Tuesday 21 August, officers required the restaurant to close immediately due to the conditions found.

Oxford Magistrates Court subsequently issued a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order against Sojo on 28 August having heard evidence that environmental health officers visited the restaurant and found evidence of cockroaches and rats. 

Officers found a heavy infestation of cockroaches including live insects running around in the kitchen and evidence of cockroaches discovered in a container of food that was ready to be served. Rat droppings and urine were also found in the kitchen while thick accumulations of grease and dirt, and outstanding repairs provided conditions that allowed pests to breed.

After a follow-up inspection of the restaurant on 28 August officers allowed the premises to reopen as they were satisfied that the risks to health discovered during the earlier inspection had now been removed.

Alex Hollingsworth, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Regulatory Services said: “Where public safety is at risk we take the necessary enforcement action to put controls in place. In this case it was clearly necessary to close the business to protect customers.”