Pizza takeaway forced to close after dead cockroaches and rat droppings discovered

By Harrison Galliven, Local Democracy Reporter

A popular pizza takeaway has been forced to close after hygiene officers discovered cockroaches housed in pizza boxes, and rat droppings on the floor.

Food hygiene officers found fully grown and nymph cockroaches inhabiting a number of areas throughout the kitchen of Morden’s Pizza Roma, in Abbotsbury Road.

Dead cockroaches were found on food paper used for wrapping burgers, inside takeaway food containers and next to pizza boxes.

Cockroaches on the pizza boxes in the kitchen (Picture: Merton council)

The officers identified the main refrigerator and food preparation area in particular to be hotspots for pests. Rat droppings were also found on the floor of the staff toilet. 

The kitchen area was found to be in a generally unhygienic state, according to officers who attended during a routine inspection on October 2.

The extent of the contamination was such that the takeaway was deemed to pose an imminent risk to public health and was temporarily closed from that date. 

Wimbledon Magistrates subsequently issued the owners with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice on October 13. 

The takeaway will remain closed until council officials are satisfied the health risk condition has been removed.

The kitchen in a generally unhygienic state (Picture: Merton council)

Writing on their website biography, Roma said: “We are a family-run business, and we take pride in what we do. We have built loyal customers over the years as our reputation speaks for itself.”

Later in the biography, it assures customers: “You won’t be disappointed.”

The takeaway, which is close to Morden Tube station, is part of a wider chain which has branches in Catford and Margate.

Online restaurant reviews pooled from Just Eat reveal the takeaway has experienced mixed reviews during its lifetime.

Merton councillor Eleanor Stringer said: “The state of the pizza parlour our officers found it in is nothing short of scandalous.

“Our residents quite rightly expect the highest standards of hygiene from restaurants and eateries, and I can assure them Merton council will continue to act swiftly to protect public health.”

Pizza Roma provided no comment when approached.

Pictured top: Cockroaches in the the food preparation area (Picture: Merton council)

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