Environmental Health has closed ten food stalls in Luton indoor market after finding a cockroach infestation.
The inspection took place on Tuesday and has resulted in all of the cooked food stalls being closed for the time being.
The fishmonger and butcher shops have been allowed to remain open. Fumigator Rentokil has been appointed to carry out a deep clean and spray of the site, with food stalls expected to stay closed for up to a week.
The indoor market is managed by Town and Country Markets (TCM). Spokesman Andrew Sparrow told that Herald & Post that up to 40 per cent of the units in the market are food and beverage stalls.
Mr Sparrow said: “I’m led to believe [the infestation] may have occurred by the basement and therefore I think it’s right and proper that we work with the council to temporarily close a number of these units. Our priority is the safety of the public.
“Having looked at some of the units, the rubbish and food lying around is a haven for pests. We’re having to work with traders for a bit of education about food hygiene.”
All of the food stalls based in the indoor market are registered with Luton Borough Council and subject to food hygiene inspections.
A spokesman for The Mall said: “We have been made aware of a breach of Health & Safety within the Market Hall, and can confirm that a number of food units within the area have been temporarily closed following an investigation by Luton Borough Council Pest Control.
“While the Market Hall is not under our management we would like to assure the public that we are working with the responsible parties to ensure cleanliness standards are met and this matter is resolved as quickly as possible.”
A spokesman for Luton Borough Council said: “The Council temporarily closed ten high-risk food businesses in the Market Hall on 8 August, using formal food hygiene powers. A Magistrates Court hearing will be held on Friday to confirm that the outlets should remain closed until the pest control issue is resolved. Officers continue to monitor the remaining food businesses that have been allowed to continue operating. The Market Hall’s management company is currently dealing with the situation and the outlets that have been closed will be allowed to re-open once the health risk is removed.”