An Oxford restaurant has been forced to close by environmental health officers from Oxford City Council after cockroaches were found in its kitchen.

Following a customer complaint about the Beirut Lebanese restaurant on Osler Rd in Headington, officers from the council’s Business Regulation team called to investigate on June 20.

Oxford Mail:

They found an active infestation of cockroaches in the kitchen posing a significant risk of food contamination.

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A hygiene emergency prohibition notice was issued requiring immediate closure of the restaurant.

Oxford Mail:

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Following a hearing at Oxford Magistrates' Court on Monday, the court issued a formal closure order.

The restaurant’s management was represented in court.

Beirut will remain closed until the infestation has been controlled and environmental health officers are satisfied that all risks to public health have been removed.

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Louise Upton, cabinet member for Healthy Oxford, said: “We’re really grateful to the customer who acted quickly by contacting environmental health after seeing an insect in the restaurant area.

"Our officers were in no doubt when they visited that it was not safe for food to be served until conditions were improved."

Oxford Mail:

A manager at the restaurant said a specialist company has visited the premises since the infestation on a number of occasions to tackle the problem.

He added that he hoped the restaurant would reopen in about 10 days' time following another inspection from environmental health officers.

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Cockroaches may be found in homes and other buildings. Usually active at night, they search for food in kitchens, food storage area, rubbish bins and drains.

They are serious pests because they have been found to carry disease-causing bacteria including Salmonella.

Under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene and Safety (England) Regulations 2013, officers authorised by a local city or district council may serve a hygiene emergency prohibition notice.

The notice may then be ratified by a magistrates' court which issues a closure order.

Breach of such an order is an offence liable to a fine or up to two years' imprisonment.