AN Indian takeaway in Ross-on-Wye has been shut down after council food hygiene inspectors found evidence of a rat infestation.

Rasoi was served a hygiene emergency prohibition notice by Herefordshire Council stopping the restaurant from serving food to the public after the inspection at the request of the owner.

During a visit from environmental health officers, rat droppings, gnawed walls and food were found in several rooms at the restaurant in the High Street on October 3.

Hereford Magistrates Court granted the notice, which will be lifted when inspectors are satisfied the required work has been carried out, and ordered owner Jabed Abdin to pay £670.95 in costs.

Zoe Powles, for Herefordshire Council, said inspectors noticed the smell of rodents from the start of their inspection and then discovered other rodent activities.

“In the second-floor store room there were rat dropping on shelving and a bag of onions had been gnawed,” she said.

“There was an exposed hole in the wall and there were grease marks that had come from rodents.”

Droppings were also found in the first-floor kitchen, a nest found in the wall, and a window that wouldn’t shut properly meaning the room wasn’t rodent-proof.

Ms Powles said that in the ground floor kitchen there were a number of droppings, there was also gnawed garlic, grease marks where rats had been running next to the wall and two holes gnawed in it.

There were also issues with the staircase, landing and bathroom. There was bird activity in the loft space, and the noise of rodents could be heard by inspectors.

“It was felt by the environmental health department that there was an imminent risk of injury to health with significant risk of contamination to food products intended for human consumption,” Ms Powles said.

Previous inspections in June and July had seen the takeaway given a one-star food hygiene rating, and magistrates heard how they had been asked to go back to re-inspect.

Magistrates thanked inspectors for the “thorough inspection”. The owner, who wasn’t in court, is to pay £420.95 for environment health department costs and £250 legal costs.

Rasoi, which opened at 48 High Street in June, said in a statement that the required work had been done: “Due to the change of weather and it being such an old building unwanted pests were finding a way in via the cellar and street.

“Working with a reputable pest control agency, all work has now been undertaken, and with immediate effect it has now been completed.

“The same management and team are now here and hope to turn it around during the next visit.”