Diners were forced to down their knives and forks and flee an Indian restaurant when a cockroach infestation broke out in a kitchen.
Their half-eaten meals were left abandoned on tables when health inspectors ordered the popular Sands of Glenfield in Leicester closed down on the spot.
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Acting on a tip off by a member of the public, the inspectors visited the restaurant unannounced on Saturday, February 4.
They discovered cockroaches - both dead and alive - in the kitchen, including in the food store and in three of the freezers.
The Leicester Mercury also reports cockroach traps, put down by pest controllers, were also found.
The inspectors, from Blaby District Council, also noted that large quantities of open and uncovered food were left out on kitchen surfaces, and that there was food debris, grease and grime on many surfaces.
They issued an order which shut the restaurant immediately - and diners were told to leave.
A spokeswoman for the council said: "A resident of the district made us aware that a pest control company had been visiting Sands.
"We served a hygiene emergency prohibition order on Sands of Glenfield for a cockroach infestation, on Saturday, February 4.
"The business is now formally closed as a food business until our environmental health team are satisfied that the health risk condition no longer exists.
"We are working closely with representatives of the business and their pest control company to advise them about the steps they need to take in order for this to be achieved.
"Once Sands have completed the work they will need to notify us and our environmental health team have two weeks to re-inspect the premises.
"Once satisfied, Environmental Health would then need to serve a notice lifting the closure which would allow them to re-open."
Inspectors returned to the restaurant on February 7 to carry out further investigations, and found more evidence of cockroach activity.
A person who was in the restaurant at the time posted on review website TripAdvisor: "We had a meal there on 4th Feb.
"During our meal, the restaurant advised us they had to close due to an incident.
"We've later discovered they were served a prohibition order due to cockroaches."
Magistrates upheld the inspectors' decision to close the restaurant at a hearing on February 8.
The Mercury has tried to contact the restaurant, which has an apartment block above it called Sumi Heights, a number of times for a comment.
A notice outside the restaurant from the team reads: "We regret to inform you that a problem has been highlighted in the building containing Sands Restaurant and the Sumi Heights apartments.
"Because of the importance of food hygiene, and our responsibility to our customers, this has resulted in the restaurant closing until the problem is completely resolved."
What inspectors found during two visits to the restaurant
Visit on February 4
- Alive cockroach in kitchen
- Another alive cockroach found in a trap in the food store of the kitchen
- Large quantities of open and uncovered food in the kitchen
- Cockroach trap with a cockroach inside found near oven
- Ingrained dirt and food debris on the freezer top and around the hinge and handles
- Ventilation panel on the side of the chest freezer in the kitchen broken and dirty with ingrained food debris and grease
- Dirty freezer unit and food debris on the floor of the kitchen
- Another dirty freezer top, hinge joint and Sellotape that had been applied dirty with food debris and grease
- Dirt and food debris on the surfaces in the kitchen
- Large build up of food debris and grease in an area used to hold clean crockery and food containers
Visit on February 7
- Oothecae (cockroach egg cases) found in the housing of the dishwasher in the kitchen
- Cockroach body parts and a dead cockroach found in the surroundings of three freezers