A Cardiff restaurant has been fined £10,000 after health and safety inspectors found rat droppings “throughout the premises” and described the conditions as the “worst” they had encountered at a restaurant in 15 years. Lilo Grill’s founder Sabz Ali Khan and his daughter Sabrina Khan were found guilty of 18 health and safety offences, including inadequate hand-washing facilities, unsafe cooking practices, and inappropriate storage of food. Nightcover Limited, which is the restaurant’s legal food business operator, was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £6,500 in costs.
Inspections carried out from August 2019 to January 2020 revealed rats were climbing up pipes and eating raw meat left out to defrost. Rat urine was also found “running down the walls” and salad was kept in an “unlit, rat-infested storeroom full of refuse sacks”. Although Mr Khan agreed to voluntarily close the venue until improvements were made in August 2019, the council later issued improvement notices for food hygiene and health and safety offences which had still not been addressed.
Founder Sabz Ali Khan was fined £5,000 and was ordered to pay £2,500 in costs while Sabrina Khan was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs. Sabz Ali Khan is understood to be appealing his conviction. Commenting on the case, councillor Dan De’Ath, who is responsible for shared regulatory services, said it was “an absolute disgrace that put their customers at risk”.
It is not the first time a Welsh restaurant has been penalised for poor health and safety. In 2018, curry house Saffron in Port Talbot was ordered to pay £27,000 after inspectors found a dead rat in the flour, a mouse infestation, and staff not washing their hands. The manager was given a suspended sentence of four months and the company was fined £20,000 with £7,000 costs.