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Tandoor Mahal Indian restaurant in Maidstone closed after cockroach infestation

A magistrate has said she can't "unsee" photos of a cockroach infestation at a Maidstone restaurant.

The Tandoor Mahal, in Medway Street, was slapped with a hygiene emergency prohibition order at court in Medway on Tuesday and was closed until further notice.

Tandoor Mahal in Medway Street, Maidstone, has closed after a cockroach infestation was discovered.
Tandoor Mahal in Medway Street, Maidstone, has closed after a cockroach infestation was discovered.

Magistrates were handed a dossier of photos to examine and heard that one environmental health officer left with a bag of the pests, identified as German cockroaches.

Chairwoman of the bench, Kaur Saini, said: "We can't unsee or unread that.

"What we have read and seen is enough to see how bad the situation is."

The order will remain in place until environmental health officers are satisfied sufficient changes have been made to remove any imminent health risks.

Maidstone Borough Council served the order last week because of the infestation, poor maintenance and cleaning, which resulted in a "significant risk" of food contamination.

The restaurant also posed an "imminent risk to public health," according to the notice placed outside the restaurant.

The notice served by Maidstone Borough Council to Tandoor Mahal in Medway Street, Maidstone
The notice served by Maidstone Borough Council to Tandoor Mahal in Medway Street, Maidstone

MBC also applied for an order to be placed on Shalim Karim, the business operator.

After viewing the pictures and reading a report by a health officer who attended the restaurant, Mrs Saini granted the order on the business and Mr Karim.

On its website, the restaurant claims to have “a reputation for top quality food and service which has lasted for more than 35 successful years” and insists its staff “want to make sure your experience here is one you will want to repeat".

A spokesman for MBC said: "Council officers from the food and safety team will continue to work with the business with the expectation it will be able to reopen in the near future when all necessary works have been undertaken."

In June 2018 the restaurant was given a "good" hygiene rating of four out of five by the council.

The eatery and Mr Karim were ordered to pay £1,300 to MBC, for the health officers' time and legal costs.

Mr Karim has been contacted for comment.

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