Two eateries have reopened at the Oxford M40 services following a cockroach infestation.

Starbucks and Chopstix were two of four businesses which closed after a visit from South Oxfordshire District Council’s Environmental Health team on Monday, May 20.

The inspection at the Welcome Break services near Wheatley was prompted by a member of the public complaining to the council.

Inspectors made a shocking discovery of an outbreak of cockroaches in the food preparation and servery areas resulting in a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice.

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The Welcome Break services in Oxford were inspected.The Welcome Break services in Oxford were inspected. (Image: Newsquest)

KFC, Subway, Chopstix and Starbucks all shut immediately as a significant risk of food contamination and an imminent risk to the customers’ health was posed.

Now the latter two businesses have reopened with customers seen buying meals from both Chopstix and Starbucks on Wednesday afternoon.

Subway remained closed with white hoardings placed around the business while KFC was also still shut but staff could be sighted inside the outlet.

“It has been less busy since the stores closed,” revealed a Welcome Break staff member.

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“Today has been quite quiet and people are asking why the stores have been shut, and I have been asked about this by customers. 

“I’m not allowed to say the reason why but I have to say there’s refurbishing, that’s all.

“Burger King is still open and I believe they [the council’s hygiene inspectors] checked there.”

On Friday, May 31, during a hearing at Oxford Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Rana confirmed the imminent health risk on May 20.

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Starbucks is now reopen having initially been closed after the inspection.Starbucks is now reopen having initially been closed after the inspection. (Image: Newsquest)

The judge then made a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order and also awarded full costs of just over £3,000 to South Oxfordshire District Council.

A spokesperson for Welcome Break at the time of the infestation said: “Four food units at Oxford Services have been closed due to a pest issue.

“These units will remain closed until the issue is resolved.

“We are cooperating with our local Environmental Health office to resolve the situation as soon as possible.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding during this time.”

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Subway remains covered by hoardings.Subway remains covered by hoardings. (Image: Newsquest)

A spokesperson for the council added: “The three businesses are still closed and will remain so until officers are satisfied that there's no longer a risk to public health.

“Subway was not included as part of the Hygiene Prohibition Notice because on the day our officers carried out the emergency investigation there was insufficient evidence of an imminent risk to health to warrant the closure of that unit.

“Welcome Break however took the decision to close it themselves the following day as part of their own investigation and addressing of the issues.

“Our criminal investigation is ongoing.”

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KFC is yet to reopen but staff were spotted in the store.KFC is yet to reopen but staff were spotted in the store. (Image: Newsquest)

The Oxford Mail has approached South Oxfordshire District Council and Welcome Break for updated comments on the cockroach infestation.

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