Flies and beetles found among waste in city restaurant

A RESTAURANT owner has been fined after inspectors found dirty dishes, flies and a "large build up of filth" in the kitchen.

Giorgio Crolla, the owner of Bar Napoli, on Hanover Street, pleaded guilty to breaches of food hygiene regulations at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. He was fined 1,500 after admitting two charges.

He had been forced to close the busy pizzeria after environmental health officers found dirty water and food debris near kitchen equipment during an inspection on 31 August.

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The restaurant reopened soon after and is now operating to acceptable standards.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, the city's environment leader, said the authority took a tough line on any premises which failed to meet health standards.

He said: "This case should send a strong message to all food business operators in the city that we will not hesitate to take immediate action in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of Edinburgh's residents and visitors.

"It is encouraging to note that this operator accepted responsibility for the breaches."

The filth uncovered during the inspection had reportedly created a breeding ground for pests, including sewage flies, house flies and Dermestes (hide) beetles.

The inspectors also said they found sinks full of dirty dishes and cooking equipment. A hand basin was obscured by a dirty chopping board, and exposed plaster was crumbling on to the floor.

There were also piles of cardboard, food waste and oil blocking a fire door in the kitchen.

Mr Crolla agreed to close the basement restaurant immediately to thoroughly clean it and deal with the pests. Officers returned later the same night, and allowed it to reopen.

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At a follow-up inspection a week later, they found that the hygiene standards were much improved.

In 2008, at least 13 restaurants, cafes and shops failed to meet the basic food safety standards during inspections.

Giorgio Crolla declined to comment on the case.