A kitchen at a primary school in Bexleyheath was slapped with a zero hygiene rating and forced to shut down for two weeks after inspectors discovered "pest activity."

The Pabulum kitchen at Mayplace Primary School was shut on October 15 after the head teacher was advised to do so by an Environmental Health Officer.

The kitchen was scored at zero out of five following the inspection by the Food Standards Agency, with "urgent improvement necessary" across all three areas inspected.

Routine kitchen maintenance revealed evidence of pest activity, and the kitchen was closed until October 28.

Rachael Flaherty, the head teacher at Mayplace Primary School, said contractors had taken "swift remedial action" over the half term period to fix the issues.

She emphasised that the kitchen is now "clean and hygienic," and that the school has since been issued with a certificate from the Environmental Health Department stating there was no risk to health.

Ms Flaherty added that she was inviting Bexley's health department to revisit the school to "quickly regain our previous very positive rating for food hygiene."

But one parent, the father of a five-year-old at the school, complained to News Shopper: "It's disgraceful, if this is the hygiene kept in the canteen, you wonder what the rest of the school is like.

"A large number of parents I know are now just sending their kids in with packed lunches. It's not ideal on a cold day when you want your children to have a hot meal, but we don't trust the kitchen."

In a statement to parents, Ms Flaherty said: "I absolutely understand the concerns that some parents have raised concerning this matter, but want to reassure you that the kitchen is clean and hygienic and that the food is prepared to the high standards that we demand at Mayplace Primary School."

Mayplace Primary School is a school on Woodside Road, Bexleyheath, and teaches children aged three to 11.

The Food Standards Agency inspection took place on October 15, rating cleanliness, management of food safety and hygienic food handling as 'urgent improvement necessary.'