In­spec­tors hand out hun­dreds of food warn­ings


Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By RALPH BLACK­BURN & JOSEPH HOOK Data Re­porters

HUN­DREDS of writ­ten warn­ings have been handed out to busi­nesses in Chiltern and South Bucks over the last year for food hy­giene is­sues, due to prob­lems such as clean­li­ness and sep­a­ra­tion of foods.

Data from the Food Stan­dards Agency shows the re­sults of food hy­giene in­ter­ven­tion in­spec­tions in the lo­cal au­thor­ity ar­eas, over the 12 months to April.

The busi­nesses in­spected are mostly res­tau­rants, but in­clude any es­tab­lish­ment which han­dles un­packed food in­clud­ing farms, man­u­fac­tur­ers and cater­ing com­pa­nies.

In­spec­tors as­sessed 807 busi­nesses and handed out 143 writ­ten warn­ings in Chiltern. In South Bucks 126 writ­ten warn­ings were is­sued af­ter 589 busi­nesses were as­sessed.

Any breach of food hy­giene reg­u­la­tions can lead to a writ­ten warn­ing. Breaches in­clude prob­lems with clean­li­ness, train­ing of staff, record keep­ing, wash­ing fa­cil­i­ties and sep­a­ra­tion of cooked and raw foods.

Of­fi­cials con­sider the se­ri­ous­ness of the case, as well as the co-op­er­a­tion of the busi­ness, be­fore de­cid­ing on what ac­tion to take.

As well as the writ­ten warn­ings, in Chiltern there were nine hy­giene im­prove­ment no­tices, one vol­un­tary clo­sure, one food seizure and one hy­giene pro­hi­bi­tion no­tice.

High risk scores were given to three busi­nesses. This means they need to be in­spected again within six months.

This rat­ing is dif­fer­ent from the 0 to 5 score that res­tau­rants and take­aways dis­play in their win­dows, as it is an in­di­ca­tor of when of­fi­cials need to as­sess the busi­ness again.

A busi­ness which gets a high risk rat­ing is “highly likely” to have breached food hy­giene reg­u­la­tions, ac­cord­ing to the FSA.

How­ever it could also be be­cause of its trade, such as large scale man­u­fac­tur­ers with lots of cus­tomers or busi­nesses that carry out spe­cial­ist pro­ce­dures.

In to­tal there were more than 150,000 writ­ten warn­ings handed out in Eng­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land in 2017-18, and 267 suc­cess­ful prose­cu­tions. Scot­land col­lects its data sep­a­rately.

Nina Pur­cell, direc­tor of reg­u­la­tory de­liv­ery at the FSA, said: “It’s en­cour­ag­ing that lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have made im­prove­ments in the per­cent­age of in­ter­ven­tions achieved and are con­tin­u­ing to tar­get their ac­tiv­i­ties at food busi­nesses where food safety risks are the high­est or where food fraud is more likely.”

An FSA spokes­woman en­cour­aged peo­ple who see bad food hy­giene to re­port it to the coun­cil.

In a state­ment, she said: “You can re­port poor hy­giene prac­tices in a restau­rant, store or other food out­let to the busi­ness’s lo­cal au­thor­ity at­tact/con­sumers/re­port­prob­lem/re­port-poor-hy­giene-prac­tices.”

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