A takeaway restaurant closed for two days after an inspector found evidence of “mouse activity throughout the kitchen area”.

Tops Royal Cuisine in The Parade, Watford, was given a 1/5 food hygiene rating following an inspection on January 17.

The Watford Observer has now obtained the Bangladeshi restaurant's full report, which called for "major improvement" in cleanliness, condition of the facilities and building, and the management of food safety. 

Watford Observer: Tops Royal Cuisine Tops Royal Cuisine (Image: Google Street View)

Hygienic food handling was found “generally satisfactory”.

The shop’s manager Said Mahjub, who took over two weeks ago, said all areas highlighted in the report have now been improved.

After signs of “mouse activity”, the shop accepted voluntary closure until a later inspection confirmed there was no public health risk. It reopened on January 19.

He said: “There was a hole under the sink that no one could see. It was fixed within two days.”   

There were fears that vermin could be attracted to the eatery because the outside bin area was heavily littered and needed a deep clean.

It was also found that raw meat was being stored next to ready to eat salad in the fridge, which raised concerns about cross contamination and bacteria from the meat.

The inspector highlighted that this was also raised at the last inspection.

Watford Observer: Tops Royal Cuisine received a rating of 1/5.Tops Royal Cuisine received a rating of 1/5. (Image: Screenshot)


Other issues included staff not washing their hands, including when they were handling food, and neither were they wearing protective clothing.

The clothing that was worn “was not clean” and this led to more fears regarding cross contamination.

Temperature records were not being kept, which was another issue that was raised in the last inspection.

However, the inspector did say that the shop bought soap during the inspection when it was found it did not have any in the kitchen area.

Mr Mahjub said: “The hygiene officer came in five times over the two days and she was very happy with the deep cleaning.

“Everything is fixed. Signs are up to show where raw food is, and staff now have their own work clothes.”

He believes the next inspection will be “ok because we are following everything they said”.