COCKROACHES, cobwebs and kitchen dirt have led to an award-winning Nepalese restaurant in East Oxford scoring a one star food hygiene rating.
Everest Nepalese Restaurant was criticised for a number of hygiene horrors and given a list of major improvements following an inspection from city council environmental health officers in February.
The restaurant won the Golden Poppadom Award from the Oxford Boys Curry Club in 2010 after it opened a year earlier.
The team said it had improved on everything it had been asked to and was confident of scoring five stars – the highest possible rating – at an upcoming revisit.
Roshan Upadhya, whose father Tilak owns the restaurant, said: “Most of it was structural things we had planned on improving anyway as we have been open for many years now.
“We have done everything the inspectors asked for and we are highly confident of scoring the highest band next time.
“We had a problem with pests but not anymore. We monitor things to make sure they don’t creep in which is why they were mentioned.”
Traps had been laid following a pest control visit before the inspection and staff were ordered to continue to monitor them ahead of a hygiene revisit.
Staff were also ordered to clean the entire kitchen, get a thermometer that works, replace a cracked window, ensure doors were shut to prevent pests wandering in and redecorate the place where possible.
The report written by a council environmental health officer read: “At the time of my visit there was evidence of recent cockroach activity and on the most recent pest control visit on February 16 activity on traps had been noted.
“Areas of the kitchen were very dirty, the floor, wall and general surfaces, including hand contact surfaces.
“The grease trap had overflowed prior to my visit and this waste was being mopped up when I was there.”
The restaurant, set in the former pub the Donnington Arms, scored ‘Bad’ when it came to Food Hygiene and Safety, the second worst possible.
It scored ‘Fair’ in the Structural Compliance category and ‘Little’ when it came to Confidence in Management.
The report issued a number of improvements the team were legally required to make.
It read: “Clean all equipment, clean the entire kitchen and storage areas.
“Remove accumulations, cobwebs and where necessary redecorate and maintain all areas in clean condition immediately.”
It added: “The doors to both external stores were left open at time of inspections thereby allowing access to pests.
“These doors must be kept closed and I recommend fitting of self closers immediately.”
Staff were also ordered to undergo food hygiene training, ensure containers were labelled and implement checks to show safe cooking.
Mr Upadhya said the restaurant had informed the council of the completion of their structural refurbishment and improvement and expected a revisit soon.