Cockroach-ridden Wolverhampton takeaway 'one of worst seen in the city'

A former takeaway owner is facing jail after his Wolverhampton business was found swarming with cockroaches.

Takeaway boss WEB
Left, Several cockroaches at various life stages carrying eggs, nesting in the motor housing of a chest freezer, and right, former takeaway owner Mohammed Rafiq.

Inspectors say the infestation at Express Diner in Lichfield Street was one of the worst ever seen in the city, with insects found crawling over work surfaces and cooking utensils.

Dead adult cockroach in container alongside utensils which were ready to be used on food.
Several cockroaches at various life stages carrying eggs, nesting in the motor housing of a chest freezer.

Magistrates said the case was so severe, ex-owner Mohammed Rafiq could only be sentenced at the city’s crown court, where he could get up to two years behind bars.

Rafiq, aged 40, of Deansfield Road, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to comply with food safety regulations and obstructing environmental health officials in their duty.

An adult cockroach, several nymphs and empty egg cases.
Adult cockroaches and debris on motor housing of second chest freezer.

Magistrates heard yesterday there had been a previous cockroach infestation in 2012, but no further action was taken after he agreed to a temporary closure.

But Miss Jacky Bramley, prosecuting on behalf of Wolverhampton Council, said environmental health officers visited the business again on January 21 this year.

“Officers thought the premises looked dirty and within minutes became suspicious there was a cockroach infestation,” she said. “Cockroaches of all stages of life were found throughout the premises, including the food preparation areas.

“There was even a cockroach among the cooking utensils and on the work surfaces.”

She said Rafiq was told to close the premises immediately. Miss Bramley said traps were laid to catch the insects and Rafiq was given strict instructions not to move them.

Adult cockroach on the side of a box containing plastic bags.
Cockroaches at various life stages carrying eggs, nesting in the motor housing of a chest freezer.

The business was allowed to reopen on January31 but, when environmental health officers visited that day, they found more cockroaches. And, on February 13, inspectors found all the traps in the kitchen area had been hidden in paper bags.

Miss Bramley added that Rafiq was convicted in December last year for offences relating to another business as a property landlord. “He shows a blatant disregard for regulations,” she said.

Nymph cockroach on a wall adjacent to ready to eat food.
Several cockroaches at various life stages carrying eggs, nesting in the motor housing of a chest freezer.

Mr Mohammed Kasujee, representing Rafiq, said he had worked as a taxi driver for some years, but four years ago was invited to enter the business as a sleeping partner. “He found himself out of his depth,” he said. “He took on somebody who had experience of working in a takeaway and relied on them for day-to-day management.” Rafiq has now sold the business and it remains closed.

Rafiq was bailed to appear before Wolverhampton Crown Court on September 9.

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Comments for: "Cockroach-ridden Wolverhampton takeaway 'one of worst seen in the city'"


Why do I feel this is going to be another slap on the wrist job?

In Europe we have a law that says ALL licensed premises and Restuarants have to be fumigated ever year and then they are issued with a licence to trade.

This would immediately stop cases like this BUT the UK opted out of this Law citing they already have laws in place. Well you can see how effective those are.

Britain is quick to condem European law when it suits them but something like this would never happen where the law is adopted.

THAT PLACE WANTS CLOSING DOWN AND THE OWNER NEEDS A LONG JAIL SENTENCE, but you know as well as I do, he will get a slap on the fingers.

The Voice of Reason

Stuff the European Union and its laws.


Stupid person, you get what you deserve.....


Fumigation does not eradicate a population of cockroaches. It will destroy some.

It is said that after a nuclear catastophe all life would be eradicated apart from the cockroach.

To get rid of a large cockroach infestation you need the premises to be sprayed with poisen paying particular attention to vulnerable areas like cracks under skirting boards and behind fridges and freezers. In old buildings, where the biggest populations occur, you would even need to spray adjoining buildings and flats above.

This treatment needs to be repeated every few weeks for about a year and even then the



there would likely be some left.

This EU policy would be totally useless in dealing with a cockroach problem.

The reason for the cockroach being hard to deal with is not just because of their resistance to the chemicals, but more so because their eggs are laid in huge numbers in difficult to reach areas and the eggs do not hatch all together but over an extended period. Although the sprays kill a lot of the population they do not affect the eggs.


Think I've seen a few bus drivers go in there. Not sure if it is for the food, or to perhaps use the toilets. Hope it's not the food!

Wish I had a pound for every time someone had an pathetic excuse not to maintain good hygiene.

Unfortunately whilst the Council and the Courts keep pussy footing about with these people you will have a few more £'s to come.

Give em a sob story they will buy it.


Magistrates said the case was so severe, ex-owner Mohammed Rafiq could only be sentenced at the city’s crown court, where he could get up to two years behind bars.



The owner would not have been prosecuted because of the infestation, even a large infestation is hard to notice, because they are mainly nocturnal and would hide in crevices and the like in the daytime.

Its obvious that this man, once he was made aware of the problem, didn't do enough to deal with the it. In addition the traps are put there, not to control the infestation, but to assess the extent of the problem. Putting the traps in bags would have prevented the cockroaches from being trapped and was an attempt to deceive the EHO. That is the main crime and the man deserves a harsh sentence.

Jackett the Hat

The owners had bad luck with location this time, if the cafe was in West Brom he would've been packed out......local delicacy is poached Roach.


The food in that establishment must have been great, after all 5000 roaches can't be wrong!

Margaret Hamilton

All places that sell cooked food should be made to show their last inspection results put in the window, then people would use them until they cleaned their act up.


All food premises (cooked or uncooked) are rated under a star system and issued with a window sticker which they can display if they wish. Most small traders display these. The rating is reached by a number of subjective assessments by the EHO the most important of which is record keeping.

Hospital kitchens are rated under the same system.

Putza Shiftin

Cockroaches used to be resident in every armed forces mess and NAAFI in Germany and proved almost impossible to eradicate. I remember going into scrupulously cleaned kitchens in messes for plated late meals to find a carpet of the things. I used to pass on the meal and go to the local takeaway.

I'm sure there are new techniques but these things are hard to get rid of, not that I'm defending poor hygiene.


The German cockroach is the most difficult to eradicate and is the one found most commonly in the UK.

Techniques used have been unchanged for ages.

It is possible, even with a large infestation to have good food hygene. This entails keeping all food covered, and all surfaces where food and utensals are put to be thoroughly cleaned at the beginning of each session. Obviously this is not a substitute for proper pest control but is the regime used whilst the eradication process is ongoing.

antony j

2 years is not enough by far


Cheeseburger and chips please, with a diet coke and curry sauce.

No cockroaches thanks, I am on a diet.

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