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This week 60 years ago: Businessman banned from his ‘unbelievably’ dirty Upper Street café

PUBLISHED: 13:29 25 October 2017

Islington Gazette: October 25, 1957

Islington Gazette: October 25, 1957

Archant

A businessman was disqualified from running his filthy Upper Street cafe for six months.

Inspector G Suarez told a food hygiene hearing he couldn’t believe customers were using Melita Cafe.

As well as his six-month ban, proprietor Dervish Hassan was given a hefty £105 fine (equivalent of £2,300 in today’s terms).

“The kitchen on the first floor was filthy,” the Gazette reported from the Islington Town Hall hearing, “with the floor slippery with grease. Egg shells, potato peelings, onion skins and other vegtable waste lay around. A woman washed dishes in filthy cold water.”

The lavatory, meanwhile, “had to be seen to be believed”. With no access to outside air, the “smell was nauseating”. There was also evidence of rats in “substantial numbers”.

Mr Hassan said he only had £1 in his pocket, but bench chairman T. Redman had no sympathy, telling him: “You will pay £2 a week until these fines are paid. Failing that, you will go to prison.”

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