UK council warns there’s no hiding for food outlets flouting the law

Food outlets found to be flouting the law will face the full weight of legal powers Bradford Council has warned.

bradford.councilThe message comes as a new report revealed the local authority’s Food Safety Team prosecuted 18 food outlets and issued a further 75 warning notices in 12 months.

In the last financial year, four premises chose to close voluntarily, one was given an emergency prohibition order and on one occasion officers were forced to seize unsafe food.

The environmental health team in Bradford dealt with 831 reports of contagious disease during the year, including 673 cases of food poisoning – 96 of which were caused by salmonella bacteria, 107 cases of gastroenteritis and 35 cases of dysentery.

In one study, conducted with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to test the quality of imported fresh herbs, a sample of mint failed a test for E. coli as it was contained an organism associated with fecal matter.

“The Council works hard to ensure that members of the public are not put at risk when eating out, and that food businesses in the district operate with the highest standards of hygiene.

“We provide lots of advice and guidance for food businesses and work with them to help them achieve and maintain the required standards.

“However if businesses fail in their responsibility then we will not hesitate to use the law to protect the public,” a Council spokesman.

UK take-away shut down after 14 people sickened with Salmonella

The Woks Cooking eatery on Richard Hesketh Drive in the Westvale area of Kirkby was shut down on Monday after 14 people caught Salmonella.

woks.cookingA number of people – suffering from fever, diarrhoea and vomiting – were diagnosed with food poisoning.

One man told the ECHO he had spent a night in intensive care after his kidneys failed.

Speaking from his sick bed in Fazakerley hospital, he said he was “lucky to be alive”.

He said: “I went to intensive care and my kidneys failed. I also spent four nights in critical care.

“I bought special fried rice and a couple of days later I was ill. I had severe diarrhea and I was vomiting. I called the doctor and the ambulance came out for me. I felt awful.”

Another of those affected by the outbreak was Paula Pierce’s 24-year-old daughter, who ended up on morphine.

Paula, who manages the nearby Railway pub, told the ECHO: “My daughter Chantelle had a steak and kidney pie and hot and sour soup from there a week Monday ago. She wasn’t feeling well later on. She went to the doctors on the Tuesday and was diagnosed with food–poisoning.

A spokesman for Knowsley Council said: “The premises are closed subject to an Emergency Prohibition Order.”

The council said it was investigating a number of cases of Salmonella infection linked to a takeaway establishment in Knowsley.

To date there have been 14 laboratory confirmed cases.

Dr Alex Stewart, from the Cheshire & Merseyside PHE Centre said: “Investigations are still on-going and all public health measures have been put in place.”

The moves Wales has taken to stop future outbreaks of E.coli

Positive progress has been made by the majority of Welsh local authorities in preventing future outbreaks of E.coli, a new report has found.

mason.jonesThe Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) Food and Feed Law Enforcement Review in Wales, commissioned in January 2014, looked at what progress has been made to implement recommendations of the Pennington inquiry following a serious outbreak nine years ago.

Five-year-old Mason Jones, from Deri, near Bargoed, Rhymney Valley, died in 2005 and more than 150 others fell ill with the O157 strain across Bridgend, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff.

The outbreak, which struck 44 schools, was the UK’s second biggest.

But the new report, which was unveiled at the Royal Welsh Show, said most councils had “acted decisively” to implement recommendations of the 2009 Pennington inquiry.

powell_tipton_slasher_10_0_storyGwynedd Council was singled out as the only exception.

The FSA set up a food hygiene delivery programme in response to the inquiry’s recommendations and developed a programme of work to improve food hygiene delivery and enforcement across the UK.

Local authority data has confirmed there have been significant improvements in the proportion of food businesses in Wales which are compliant with food hygiene law.

The report said the introduction of the food hygiene rating scheme – known as “scores on the doors” – and collaborative working between local authorities, the FSA and the Welsh Government has empowered consumers to make informed choices about where they eat.

Wales is the only part of the UK where all businesses must display their rating by law.

Queensland Health says rating schemes a matter for local governments; top franchises and well-known restaurants among Brisbane eateries slapped with fines for dodgy hygiene and health practices

Sometimes I wonder what Queensland Health does, other than publish error-filled food safety information.

eat.safe.brisbaneNo follow-up on the 50 people that got sick from shiga-toxin producing E. coli at the state fair last year, no follow-up on the 240 who got sick from Salmonella linked to raw-egg mayo last year, and just no follow up at all.

According to The Courier-Mail, cockroaches in the kitchen, rat droppings in the deep fryer and Salmonella are just a few of the nasties that Brisbane’s food safety inspectors are finding on the menu at some of the city’s most popular restaurants.

Top franchises and well-known restaurants were among the eateries slapped with a whopping total of $600,000 in fines for dodgy hygiene and health practices during the 2013-14 financial year.

The revelations follow the DM jazz cafe being fined $25,000 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court this week after a customer found a live cockroach in the chicken and mushroom risotto.

Food safety inspectors slapped more than 30 restaurants and cafes with fines as part of the city council’s EatSafe program in a bid to clean up the industry.

The Beach House was fined $30,000 in December after rat droppings were found in the deep fryer, as well as accumulated grease on the floor and wall surfaces in the kitchen.

The Gap Tavern, owned by the ALH Group, was fined $28,000 for cleanliness issues including having live cockroaches in November 2013.

ALH Group spokesman said the organisation took food safety very seriously and had already taken steps to address the issues raised by the council.

“We have a robust ongoing audit process,” he said.

Major cities and tourist destinations throughout the state are hiding details about restaurants prosecuted for repeated dodgy hygiene practices, which could include insects crawling through the kitchen and food contamination.

There is now pressure on them to follow Brisbane City’s Council’s lead by naming and shaming eateries that flunk inspections and introducing a star rating system for food safety.

Diners on the Gold Coast and in Cairns could be eating at restaurants repeatedly fined for breaching health standards but wouldn’t know because their councils refuse to reveal who they are.

Queensland Health Health Protection Unit boss Sophie Dwyer said food safety rating schemes were a matter for local governments.

Uh-huh.

Palm Beach, Florida not enforcing ordinance requiring restaurants post a sign about their inspections

What good is restaurant inspection disclosure if the results aren’t publicly accountable?

Palm Beach County in Florida passed an ordinance to make diners aware of a state law that allows you to ask for a restaurant’s inspection report. In our tests, the majority of restaurants do not follow the state law.

jake.gyllenhaal.rest.inspection.disclosureIn 2007, Palm Beach County took the state law a step further and required restaurants post a sign in their window, door or menu to let you know you could ask for the inspection report. This came after NewsChannel 5 revealed dirty kitchens. Seven years later, our hidden cameras found restaurants breaking that rule too.

“I remember when the ordinance came up that they had to post it. I was all excited,” explained diner Fran Green.

She said she rarely sees the signs now.

We went to 12 restaurants, from chains to fast food, and looked at their menu and in their window. We found no sign of the signs.

“That’s unbelievable,” explained Green.

“I’m not surprised,” explained Dave Aronberg.

Aronberg was a state representative when he fought to get the ordinance passed.

“I think it’s just because they don’t know about the ordinance,” explained Aronberg.

Don’t know and may not care because we found the county hasn’t enforced the signs. Nobody has been fined over it.

It’s voluntary and sucks: Brisbane’s EatSafe program adopted by other Australian councils

Brisbane City Council’s food hygiene rating system EatSafe has been adopted by other councils, a move that has been hailed as proof of the success of the often-maligned program.

eat.safe.brisbaneIt’s not proof of anything, other than bureaucratic self-congratulation.

The program, developed by the LNP administration in 2010, replaced an annual visit by council food safety inspectors to all Brisbane food vendors with one that awards them a star rating.

Restaurants awarded a three star rating still receive a yearly inspection, while those awarded a four star rating receive a visit from council officers every second year.

Those with a five star rating are inspected every third year.

According to lifestyle chairman Krista Adams, four councils – two in Queensland and two in Tasmania – have now adopted the system pioneered in Brisbane, which she said brings a greater degree of transparency to the city’s restaurants, cafes and takeaway food sellers.  

Cr Adams said 91 per cent of the city’s more than 6000 food outlets had been deemed by EatSafe inspectors to be operating at a three star level or above.

However, her comments promoting the success of the program came in the same week it was revealed a South Bank restaurant awarded four stars had been prosecuted over a woman finding a cockroach in her risotto in April last year.

Council Opposition Leader Milton Dick described the reduction in annual visits as a “cop out. … It’s more PR than actually tackling food safety standards in Brisbane.

“In principle it is sounds good but in practice it doesn’t deliver what it says it will.”

‘These ladies been cooking for like 30 years and it’s a language barrier’ Ocha Thai Cuisine and 7-11 Bar

Health inspectors said the restaurant in this week’s Dirty Dining needs a talking to. They’re concerned their history of failing routine health inspections puts the public at risk.

Ocha Thai Cuisine and 7-11 BardThe Thai restaurant is a repeat offender. The good news? This time they don’t have roaches. That’s what shut them down the first time we were there. What’s got health inspectors so worried now?

They found enough problems to give a 37-demerit “C” grade to Ocha Cuisine on Las Vegas Boulevard near Charleston.

Inspectors found employees touching ready-to-eat food with bare hands. There was also food stored on the floor, excessive sticky build-up on soda nozzles and raw meat thawing at room temperature with dirty dishes.

When we paid them a visit, it was deja vu all over again. Manager Larry Xaypanya said much of the problem was due to broken equipment.

Last year, the owner blamed their problems on cultural differences with the way things are done in their kitchen.

Larry said that’s still an issue, “We’re family-owned and it’s kinda hard to tell the family anything, because these ladies been cooking for like 30 years and it’s a language barrier, you know? But now they understand.”

Health Ministry finds top restaurants serving up adulterated and misbranded food and 20 per cent of all food in India fails quality tests

At least a fifth of food items from across the country have failed to meet quality standards during tests at government laboratories and even top restaurants and fast food outlets in the National Capital have been found to be dishing out treats that were either adulterated or misbranded.

india.foodData recently released by the Health Ministry stated that 46,283 food samples, including milk and milk products, edible vegetable oils and spices, were analysed at laboratories during 2013-14.

A total of 9,265 samples were found to be adulterated and misbranded.

In Delhi alone, the government recently launched 61 prosecutions against erring manufacturers and vendors.

Since the beginning of the year, at least 27 food and milk products were found to be sub-standard and six products at different outlets were found to be “unsafe to eat”.

The tests revealed that spices used at the Punjabi By Nature outlet at City Square Mall in Raja Garden were “unsafe”.

Similarly, authorities found that a food item called “Rizo Rice” at a KFC restaurant in Connaught Place was unsafe and hazardous for health.

According to government officials, the New Punjabi Kitchen, at Metro Road, Eastend, Public School, New Ashok Nagar was selling “unsafe” prepared food.

An outlet of the Bikanerwala chain at Karol Bagh was selling ‘besan barfi’ unfit for consumption.

Food safety culture? Walmart restaurant linked to Shigella outbreak ready to reopen

Salsarita’s Restaurant in the Walmart Home Office Café will reopen Wednesday following a Shigella outbreak that made hundreds sick.

Salsaritas-Chimichurri-Fajita-BurritoThe email said Eurest, the third-party company in charge of managing the kitchen, will hire a quality assurance manager and will retrain staff on the company’s safety protocols.

Maggots in food among new prison complaints

When I was in prison, the food wasn’t so bad, most of the poop had been cooked out, and I still get a giggle from my daughters when I say, bacon and egg for breakfast, because that was our choice in the gaol: one egg and bacon, or two eggs.

ned-kelly-510x630mm-framedReports obtained by The Associated Press through records requests found numerous problems reported since April, when the state took the rare step of fining the vendor because of contract failures.

The records show 65 instances where Philadelphia-based Aramark Correctional Services failed to provide food or ran out of it — usually the main course, such as hamburgers or chicken patties — while serving inmates, leading to delays and in some cases security concerns as inmates grew frustrated. Substitute items were provided in most cases.

On May 28, guards stopped breakfast “to preclude a mass demonstration” at Warren Correctional Institution in southwest Ohio by inmates upset at being served only white bread and peanut butter after the supply truck was apparently late.

The records also show several days when Aramark employees simply failed to show up and cases of unauthorized relationships between inmates and Aramark workers. Reports allege sexual activity between some inmates and workers.

Records also show five reports of maggots since January in food or the preparation process. Last month, for example, an Aramark employee notified a prison guard at Trumbull Correctional Institution that “one of the two serving lines had maggots falling out of the warming tray.”