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Papa John's in Sittingbourne re-opens after being shut due to rat infestation

By Chloe Holmwood

Sittingbourne's popular Papa John's has re-opened.

The takeaway pizza place was shut down by health inspectors in February after a rat infestation was discovered during a routine visit.

A notice pinned to the front of the West Street eatery informed customers of a significant risk of food contamination.

Papa John’s in Sittingbourne's West Street which has been given a deep clean
Papa John’s in Sittingbourne's West Street which has been given a deep clean

But Swale council said necessary works had been carried out and environmental health teams had inspected the premises to check the infestation was under control.

A spokesman said: "Following a further inspection of Papa John’s in Sittingbourne, it was able to reopen having completed the necessary works and made sure that there was no further risk to public health.

"The Environmental Health team is reviewing the information that was gathered for the Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order to decide what action would be appropriate, taking into consideration the Environmental Health Enforcement Policy."

The outlet reopened for takeaways and deliveries on March 11.

Gurpreet Rai, although not officially the new owner yet, is taking over the reins.

He said: “We’re in the process of having everything changed over.

Papa John's in Sittingbourne's West Street has been closed down by health inspectors (8681548)
Papa John's in Sittingbourne's West Street has been closed down by health inspectors (8681548)

"The inspection was done before I took over. We've had regular weekly inspections from pest control since.

"We've got all clearance from them. We’re deep cleaned and sanitised everything. The council was happy too."

Mr Rai said there will be another routine inspection when he officially takes over.

When asked whether he hoped the next inspection would be better than the last, he said: “Definitely. I would be very disappointed if it wasn't."

Mr Rai has previously worked at Papa John’s in Gravesend and Sevenoaks and hopes to bring his expertise to Sittingbourne.

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