London SE1 website team

Old Kent Road restaurant owner banned for life

The owner of a restaurant in the Old Kent Road has been banned from ever running a food business again after council inspectors found cockroach and mouse infestations, dirty equipment and poor hygiene conditions.

Grace (Mercy) Omolekulo – owner of Impression Restaurant, 232 Old Kent Road SE1 – was found guilty of breaching European Regulations and Food England Regulations on 6 November in Camberwell Green Magistrates Court.

Sentencing Mrs Omolekulo, 48, the magistrate prohibited her from ever being involved in a food business, sentenced her to carry out 40 hours unpaid work in the community, and ordered her to pay 500 costs.

This is the first time Southwark Council has gained a prohibition order against a restaurant owner. The owner will now be added to a national database of people prevented from being involved in any food business in the future.

Mrs Omolekulo was previously found guilty in April 2007 of 10 offences under the Food Safety Act. On that occasion she was fined 100 for each offence and 1,000 costs.

"This restaurant owner has consistently failed to meet food hygiene standards despite assistance from the council's food team to fix the problems," says Cllr Jeff Hook, Southwark's executive member for community safety.

"While we prefer to work with owners to improve standards, we won't hesitate to use our full powers to shut down premises that place the public at risk.

"The council now publishes online the hygiene ratings of over 2,000 premises that sell food and drink in the borough, which not only allows consumers to eat out with confidence but has also driven up hygiene standards."

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