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Food Safety Training, Auditing & Management
Food Safety Training, Auditing & Management

Filthy chip shop ordered to close following food poisoning allegations

Problems which included high levels of dangerous bacteria and poor standards of cleanliness

A fish bar in the East Midlands has been closed by local health officials after a series of food hygiene failures and complaints about incidents of food poisoning.

Environmental health officers discovered upon inspection several problems including high levels of dangerous bacteria, hatching insects, unhygienic food contact surfaces and poor staff hand hygiene.

The owners appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court to plead guilty to nine food hygiene offences in a case brought by North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC).

The owners are now both the subject of Hygiene Prohibition Orders which ban them from operating any kind of food business.

At the hearing the council stated there had been a  history of non-compliance in food safety matters, which led to an unannounced food hygiene inspection when inspectors found very poor standards in the business.

Following reports of alleged food poisoning from customers, a visit was made & a number of serious issues were highlighted. These included:

  • Unhygienic hand-washing facilities and staff observed not washing hands before handling food
  • Dirty work surfaces with a build up of batter mix and grease
  • Cross-contamination evident between raw and ready-to-eat foods
  • Flying insects insects hatching
  • Dirty refrigerators and freezers
  • Inadequately reheated food
  • The premises was previously issued with a zero hygiene food rating & issued with an improvement notice
  • Following new food poisoning complaints, the fish bar was visited again
  • On this visit, samples were taken from the premises and sent for analysis. The results confirmed the presence of unacceptable levels of the dangerous bacteria.
  • At this point the council took the owners to court seeking a Hygiene Prohibition Order, which has now been granted, banning the pair from operating any food business until  they apply to a court.
  • The owners were also fined £400 each and ordered to pay over £4000 in costs.

This case highlights the lack of wisdom in reacting to instructions given EHO's on food safety matters.

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