Leeds pizzeria closed after cockroach found in pizza

cockroaches with vegetables

The former owner of Munchies takeaway in Leeds has been ordered to pay the court £2,000, after a customer found a cockroach baked into the crust of a pizza bought there. Environmental health officers were called, and prosecuted him for the filthy state of the restaurant's kitchens.

So is this the nastiest restaurant cockroach tale?


Matloob Hussain, the 44 year old who owned the takeaway on Harehills Road at the time, was taken to court by Environmental Health.

They were called to the restaurant after the grizzly find in August last year. The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that officials had found cockroaches in pans, inside the chiller and running up the wall, and shut it down on the spot.

The kitchens were cleaned, and pest controllers visited the restaurant, before it was re-opened a week later. Hussain no longer owns the business.

The court heard that Hussain had only taken over the business a few weeks earlier. However, he pleaded guilty to eight offences including failing to keep the premises clean and failing to protect against pests, and was fined £750 and ordered to pay £1,250 court costs.

According to the Daily Mail, Justice of the Peace Bill Baker said: "What we have heard this morning has been a stomach-churning horror story. We are due to have lunch in three-quarters of an hour but I think we will skip it now."

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said in a statement: "Munchies took the idea of a stuffed crust pizza to a whole new level. It beggars belief that any business owner could knowingly allow conditions to get so bad and put the health of unsuspecting members of the public at such risk."

Cockroach tales

It's not the only cockroach to make it into someone's dinner though.

In January the Hummingbird Restaurant in Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park was closed down after inspectors found a cockroach infestation in the kitchen. They were called after a customer found one in his chicken roti.

Last year McDonalds Australia was fined $8,000, after its Rockingham, Perth, branch served a customer an iced coffee with a cockroach stuck to the inside.

In 2009 a waitress in restaurant in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in China showed an impressive dedication to her job. When a customer complained that there was a cockroach in his soup and asked for a note saying the restaurant would pay for his medical bills if he became ill, she ate the evidence.

But in 2011, we saw perhaps the most brazen cockroach incident: the owner of a London sandwich bar was fined £15,500 after safety officers were served a cup of tea with a cockroach in it.

There are some people who choose to eat cockroaches. Two weeks ago, Prague Zoo held a special dinner for cockroach fans, featuring noodles with cockroach sauce, and stir-fried cockroaches with vegetables (pictured). These cockroaches were specially bred for eating - which makes them grim but safe.

But what do you think? Would you eat one?

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