Waiter, there's a fly in my coffee

Stephen Brothwell 1 November 2007

The Market Street Starbucks has shut its doors because of an infestation of fruit flies.

Health and Safety officers inspected the café following a tip off from some disgruntled customers appalled by the number of flies in the serving area.

In response, Starbucks Coffee Company told The Cambridge Student that “we took the decision to temporarily close the Cambridge Market Street store.

“The store is currently undergoing remedial work including a deep clean, internal painting and a rearrangement of the back of house area.

“Starbucks would like to apologise to customers for any inconvenience this may cause and we hope to open the store as soon as possible.”

This has left one customer unsatisfied. A second year from Robinson College told TCS that she noticed the problem two weeks before any action was taken. “I was disgusted when I noticed that the sign above the counter was crawling with flies, and then I saw them around the sugar and spoons. It was gross.

“I made a mental note not to return because I was concerned about the cleanliness and condition of my food.”

Flies are feared by the hospitality trade as they can bite customers, contaminate foodstuffs and even spread diseases.

Each fly is capable of carrying over one hundred pathogens and they reproduce quickly, making them hard to expel.

The issue has been taken seriously by the City Council, whose investigations remain ongoing.

A spokesman for the city’s Environmental Health Office said they were “happy with the approach my staff have taken and Starbucks’ response so far”. Although they declined to make any specific comment they did say that infestations of this type were more common in the summer months.

He was keen to remind all Cambridge residents that if they had any similar food hygiene concerns they should contact the council.

Stephen Brothwell