Two bottles of filthy cockroaches were held up in court as council officers successfully applied for a Blackpool takeaway to be temporarily closed.
The disease-spreading insects scattered ‘in a frenzy’ after council food hygiene staff sprayed areas of the kitchen with bug spray.
As a result magistrates today granted an emergency closure order on Popeyes on the resort’s Church Street.
It was successfully applied for by Blackpool Council who were alerted to the infestation by an e mail tip-off from a customer who was worried about the state of the premises run by Marco Shoja, who lives on Heyhouses Lane, St Annes.
Popeyes must remain closed until the council is satisfied the cockroaches, which are a risk to human health, are obliterated by pest control experts.
Lynda Bennett who made the application for the authority said that it was was alerted to the problem on Monday .
She said: “Despite the infestation the premises were open and food was being served to the public.”
The court heard that cockroaches were living in the fridge areas, the pizza preparation area and the servery area.
Food control safety officer Lindsay Milner told the hearing that she felt the owner of the premises who did not attend court feared that any closure would result in his loss of earnings.
She produced two glass bottles containing adult and baby cockroaches the council had removed from Popeyes.
She said: “When we visited the premises and asked him about cockroaches he looked puzzled and said he may have seen one a month ago.
“But when we pulled out a fridge and sprayed the motor area cockroaches scattered in a frenzy.
“There were dirty greasy areas which are perfect for cockroaches to feast on.
“Then they walk all over food and packaging.
“They are a imminent risk to human health and can spread e-coli and salmonella.”