The chef of the Sanctum Soho Hotel, a hip boutique hotel restaurant in the centre of Soho in Westminster, mistook mice droppings on floors and worktops as spices. The fashionable restaurant hotel, which boasts a roof terrace along with hot tub and cinema, inevitably was forced to close its doors while the major rodent control issue was dealt with by London pest control.
London 4* Hotel Closed Due to Rodents
The London 4* hotel was closed immediately to the public when a health and safety inspector attended and found multiple signs of rodent infestation, as well as actually witnessing a mouse run across the kitchen floor.
On entry, the inspector reported the smell of rodent urine in the kitchen itself, along with droppings found on the floor and work surfaces, as well as in food containers and on shelves. Not only this, an actual mice nest was found in the London restaurant’s staff room.
The cause of the rodent infestation was clear, with mouldy fruit, plates with left over food, gnawed biscuits and inappropriately packed food all being found by inspectors. The report also detailed that the cleanliness of the kitchen was far below standard, and described it as ‘filthy’. It emerged later that staff had not been trained in food hygiene.
Effects of Rodent Infestation on London Businesses
The effects of having a rodent infestation in a London business can be serious and long lasting, not only with financial losses with the period of closure, but also with damage to reputation, especially where restaurants and other food establishments are concerned.
Although the Sanctum Soho Hotel was only closed for 6 days, the after effects have lasted much longer. The restaurant was faced with firing a whole team of kitchen staff and rehiring and retraining new members in the hope of reaching the necessary standard. During this time, many chefs came and went, causing instability for both the business and its customers. On top of this, the restaurant was faced over £24,000 in fines and costs.
Although the London venue is now back on track with a new chef, who is said to be an expert in health and safety, plus being given the all clear by inspectors, it will be a long time before the hotel has fully recovered from the effects.
Westminster Council on Public Health and Safety
When approached about the matter, Cllr Nickie Aiken, cabinet member for public protection and chairman of licensing at Westminster City Council, justified the decision to temporarily close the Sanctum Soho Hotel by outlining the responsibility of the council to protect public health.
Westminster is known for its high standards and the council are committed to ensuring that these are upheld, especially when pest control and cleanliness are involved.
Cllr Aiken encourages any member of the public who has any concerns about health and safety in restaurants, food shops or any other establishments to contact the Westminster City Council’s Food Safety Team as a matter of urgency.
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The high quality service and affordable rates of Top Dog Pest Control mean that you will never have to experience the higher costs of emergency pest control and the even higher financial consequences of having your London business closed down by the local council.
Author: This article was written by Dean Mannion, Senior Pest Control Technician for Top Dog Pest Control. Top Dog London Pest Control provides commercial pest control for London restaurants.