Lye balti house fined after cockroach infestation

A Lye restaurant owner whose premises were found to be infested by cockroaches, after a customer was served one of the pests in her meal, has been fined £9,000.

Shanti Devi Sharma, director of the company which ran Isha’s at Stourbridge Road, Lye, pleaded guilty to nine offences under food safety and hygiene regulations following the incident in March 2017.

On February 9, Dudley magistrates heard that when Dudley Council environmental health officers carried out an inspection of the restaurant, after receiving the customer complaint, they discovered cockroaches in the kitchen and beneath a chest freezer. The restaurant was immediately closed using emergency closure powers. This was subsequently backed by a court order, which forced the closure of the business for six weeks until the infestation was eradicated.

The offences included failing to have adequate procedures in place to deal with pests and failing to keep the restaurant clean and in good repair. Further offences related to dirty and damaged equipment, damaged floor coverings and a ceiling. The court fined Ms Sharma £9,000 along with £909 costs and £100 victim surcharge. Councillor Peter Miller, cabinet member responsible for health and wellbeing, said:

“Conditions at this restaurant were appalling. The premises were immediately closed and remained so for several weeks until our environmental health officers were fully satisfied the problem had been dealt with and that there was no further risk to the health of the public.

The owner of the business has quite rightly now been held to account. I want to assure the public that cases like this are very rare and the vast majority of food businesses in the borough are well run and compliant with hygiene and safety rules.

“I would urge consumers to check out hygiene ratings online as these provide a glimpse of what is going on in the kitchen when they eat out, or behind the scenes at the places they shop.”

Dudley Council environmental health officers carry out regular inspections of food premises in the borough to advise food business owners and ensure they meet all food safety and hygiene requirements. Ratings in Dudley can be viewed online at


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