Home » Four catering establishments in Leuven have to close due to mouse plague (Leuven)

Four catering establishments in Leuven have to close due to mouse plague (Leuven)

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Some terraces on Martelarenplein will remain closed for the time being. — © johe

Leuven –

After an inspection by the FAVV, four businesses in Leuven had to close this week because traces of mice were found. The same thing happened before, in six other restaurants and cafes. “It is now easy to point the finger at the catering industry,” says Kevin Vanderauwera, chairman of Horeca Leuven. “But the problem is much more complex.”

Thanks to the nice weather and the Easter holidays, many Leuven residents were able to enjoy a terrace for the first time last week. Although this did not work everywhere, because several catering establishments had to close their doors. Cause? A plague of mice, which means that a dozen cafes and restaurants in the city center will remain closed for the time being.


“It is a problem that has been going on for some time,” says Kevin Vanderauwera, chairman of Horeca Leuven and operator of Frietcafé L’Etoile D’Or, which is open as usual. “Not only Leuven, but every major city has to deal with it. We already sounded the alarm bells last year, but it may now be too late.”

“Part of the problem is that we have now evolved into a takeaway company,” Vanderauwera continues. “Customers order a pizza and throw away the box, which still contains some crusts. Or they throw the bag of their sandwich in the trash, even though it is full of crumbs. The mice love that, because they can eat it for days.”

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More than two mouse droppings

On Thursday, the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC) carried out checks at Martelarenplein and the Grote Markt, after which four businesses had to close after traces of mice were found. “This puts the catering industry in a bad light, but that is not always justified,” says Vanderauwera.

According to the chairman of Horeca Leuven, the mouse plague is more of a social problem. “A restaurant may do its best to keep everything clean, but something like this is not always completely under your control. Because what if you have a neighbor who is less concerned with hygiene? Or is your business located next to an empty building with leftover food? Then you quickly run into problems yourself.”

Vanderauwera would further like to emphasize that the FASFC checks are carried out very correctly and thoroughly. “If they close a business, it really means that, in their opinion, safety is compromised. This often involves more than two mouse droppings. Because if you are otherwise perfectly fine, the inspectors will probably not close your case.”

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