An environmental health officer saw a cockroach eating a chip in one of the busiest branches of Kentucky Fried Chicken in Britain, only four months after the chain was warned to improve its hygiene.
When an inspector called at the fast-food outlet in Coventry Street, near Leicester Square in central London, he found the insect on a food dispensing counter near take-away boxes and tongs used to serve chicken. He also found a mouse, flies and dried chicken blood on the floor, and no soap for kitchen staff to wash their hands.
Westminster City Council had given KFC a warning about hygiene failings at the branch four months before, City of Westminster magistrates were was told. Last month, KFC admitted five breaches of hygiene legislation, for which District Judge Howard Riddle yesterday fined it £11,000 and ordered it to pay £7,927 costs. Daniel Astaire, a Westminster councillor, said: "The standards of hygiene at this restaurant were appalling and simply unacceptable."
David Whiting, in mitigation, said KFC took inspections "very seriously" and accepted that it had fallen "below their own high standards and below legal standards". He said the outside contractor employed to deal with pest control had had its hire agreement with KFC terminated across the UK. The Coventry Street outlet, which employs 65 staff, has since had a £600,000 refurbishment.
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