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Cockroach find closes kitchen at Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre lunch club

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Cockroaches have been found in the kitchen of a Leicester City Council-run community centre which hosts a lunch club for elderly people.

The council's own environmental health officers carried out a routine check on the Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre and found dirt and evidence of the insects.

Their discovery prompted the suspension of the Belgrave Lunch Club for a week while the kitchen was deep cleaned.

The popular lunch club caters for between 60 and 90 elderly people, who pay £3.90 a meal.

The inspection at the centre in Rothley Street was carried out on November 23, but the city council has only just released details of its findings after it was contacted by the Mercury following a tip-off.

Bobby's restaurant in Melton Road stepped into feed the lunch club members until the cleaning had taken place, and centre staff had been given training.

The council has issued emergency closure notices to a number of restaurants, takeaways and shops that have failed spot-checks in recent years.

However, a council spokesman said: "The findings did not require a closure notice as no evidence of imminent risk of injury to health was found.

"However, unacceptable standards of cleanliness in some areas, including evidence of cockroach activity, did require immediate attention.

"The centre suspended its lunch club for a week while work in the kitchen area was carried out. An arrangement was made with Bobby's restaurant which meant that lunch club users could meet and eat there. This was at no additional cost to the council or service users."

The resident who tipped off the Mercury, who did not wish to be named, said: "Some people who knew about this felt that had it been a private restaurant it would have been prosecuted, that this has not been a level playing field. If it was serious enough to stop serving meals, it sounds quite bad."

Assistant mayor for neighbourhood services, Councillor Sarah Russell said: "We treat all the premises we visit the same way. The problems found there were at floor level, not at the counter level.

"It is important that we put public safety first, regardless of what premises we check."

Bobby's was paid £1,000.

Dharmesh Lakhani, of Bobby's, said: "We were pleased to be able to help out. We did get paid, but we provided the food at cost."

Cockroach find closes kitchen at Belgrave Neighbourhood Centre  lunch club


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