kfc rats

A KFC branch in Leytonstone, east London, has been fined nearly £25,000 after signs of a rat infestation were found in the kitchen.

Environmental Health Officers closed down the branch effective immediately as the widespread infestation posed ‘an imminent risk to health’ when the inspection took place in August 2022.

The officers reported overall ’very poor levels’ of hygiene in areas where food was prepared.

Rat droppings were found on the floor, as well as in food storage and preparation areas. Flour bags in the storeroom presented gnaw marks, and a large rat hole was found together with an open drain in the yard.

KFC told The Grocer the branch has since reopened and has a four-star hygiene rating.

The franchisee Triple D and director Abdul Daroowala were prosecuted on two counts of failing to ensure pest control measures and poor hygiene levels. Both violate the Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

The company was fined £22,000 for both offences, plus £2,339 in costs.

Customers present in store were told to leave the premises immediately, after the urgent inspection carried out by Waltham Forest Council.

“For a franchise under the brand of KFC this was a terrible breach of trust”, said Khevyn Limbajee, Waltham Forest Council councillor and community safety cabinet member.

“With so many people ordering their food online these days, they would have no idea what the state of the kitchens were like.

“We are pleased the magistrates have sent a clear message by issuing a significant fine. Waltham Forest Council will always act to protect the health of the public and prosecute food businesses where evidence identifies breaches of food safety laws.”

A KFC spokeswoman said: “Operating responsibly is our number one priority and we have strict processes in place to ensure the quality and hygiene standards of all our restaurants”.

“This fine relates to an incident in 2022, after which the restaurant was closed on a short term basis. Since then, the restaurant team has worked hard with local authorities on vital improvements, and has had a four-star hygiene rating since 2023.”