Salmon was ‘regularly thawed then re-frozen’ at restaurant in city
‘EXTREMELY DANGEROUS’ PRACTICE RAPPED BY INSPECTORS AFTER AUGUST CHECK BUT VENUE HAS PLEDGED TO IMPROVE
SALMON was “regularly thawed then re-frozen” at a Derby restaurant, a food inspector was told.
The inspector said they had “serious concerns” following a visit to The Kitchen, in Sadler Gate, in August this year.
They found out-of-date pizza toppings and overflowing bins covered with flies. The food hygiene officer was also told by staff that it was “common practice” to freeze and de-frost salmon until it was all used.
Derby City Council gave the business a score of one out of five - meaning “major improvements are necessary”.
A spokesman for the firm said the report had “been blown out of all proportions” and he wanted to reassure readers that there are no risk to customers whatsoever.
The food hygiene scoring system goes from zero to five. A zero means “urgent improvement is required” while a five means “very good”.
At the time of the inspection, the hygiene officer discovered an open 1kg packed of smoked salmon which had previously been frozen. The report said: “It had been wrapped in cling film and was about to be placed back into the freezer until required The Kitchen, in Sadler Gate, Derby
again. I was told this is common practice and that the salmon can be frozen and defrosted several times until it is used up.”
The inspector said this was “extremely dangerous” and posed a risk of microbial growth and ultimately food poisoning as it would have been extending the shelf life of the original product beyond that given by the manufactorer.
The officer also found a packet of frozen turkey slices bearing a use-by date of 13/06/17 with no label identifying when the product was frozen and nothing on the packet to say “suitable for freezing”.
The inspection noted how the outside bin was overflowing, smelly, covered in flies and the lid would not close. Baskets of bread delivered in the morning were left next to the bin.
Ready-to-eat smoked salmon was being portioned out at the time of the visit using weighing scales that were not cleaned or disinfected prior to the salmon being placed directly on them.
There was no hand soap at the hand wash basin in the bakehouse kitchen and no hot water at the wash basin in the pizza area.
The restaurant’s spokesman said: “We would like to reassure the readers and customers that at no point has there been any risk to customers. Our track record of not having a single complaint for food poisoning since being in ownership of The Kitchen says it all.
“We do not pose a risk to anyone and never have. The Kitchen is highly rated by our customers for the food and cleanliness and we serve 100-200 per day without a single complaint, it’s all been blown out of proportion.
“We have worked with the environmental health authorities tirelessly, have invested £1,000s and continue to do so to conform to regulations. There were some irregularities, that is correct but we repeat no risk.
“We have replaced the chest freezer with an upright freezer with drawers to enable easier access and simplify cleaning. Environmental Health Officers are increasingly pressuring and penalising good, clean businesses in the city centre unnecessarily and our customers know and see very well when visiting just how clean our business is.
“Regardless, we are still working on the issues with EHO and are happy to continue to take all their advice and make it all happen in order to keep serving good safe food to the public and keep people employed.”