London bakery fined $200k for using tennis racket to mash potatoes

Elizabeth Licata of the Daily Meal writes a London bakery was fined over $200,000 for failing to meet hygiene

Credit: Enfield Council

Between the tennis racket and the host of other health and hygiene violations, the Enfield Council fined the directors of the two bakeries £152,823, or $201,970.

Everyone has a camera: UK Subway-manager-taking-bread-from-bin-to-serve-customers edition

Charlie Bayliss of the Daily Mail writes that horrific footage has surfaced of a Subway manager taking bread from a bin to serve to customers. 

Not sure it is horrific, but another reminder that everyone has a camera.

A concerned employee who had reservations about the food hygiene practices at the Central Park Subway in Rugby, Warwickshire, filmed the video earlier this year.

In the undercover footage, the unnamed manager reaches into the bin to pull out some bread after telling an employee: ‘We are already short of bread.’ 

The manager then places the binned bread onto a trolley before rolling it out of a back room.

Following the release of the video, Rugby Council sent an environmental health officer to the store where a number of food hygiene concerns were found. 

A spokesperson for Subway said: ‘Subway stores have very strict food safety and hygiene procedures to ensure that customers are served products to a high standard.

‘This video relates to a historic incident, which has been fully investigated. We are disappointed with the updated rating received by EHO and the store is challenging this.

‘The local store owner is looking forward to a follow up inspection.’ 

Uh-huh.

£155,000 fine for UK restaurant after cooked food left next to used mop bucket

Katy Clifton of Get West London writesSouthall restaurant owner was fined more than £155,000 after council officersfound staff handling food with unwashed hands and cooked food next to a filthy mop bucket.

Chini Chor, in South Road, was taken to court by Ealing Council’s food safety team after the restaurant was found breaking food hygiene laws on two occasions.

The owner, Ravi Kumar Bakshi, pleaded guilty at Ealing Magistrates’ Court on Monday (October 16) and was ordered to pay more than £155,000 in fines and costs of £2,810.

During two inspections, staff were seen handling foods without washed hands and the access to the sink was obstructed by colanders stored on the floor.

Cooked foods were stored next to a mop bucket and foods were placed in dirty cardboard boxes.

Equipment for preparing foods, such as a cheese grater, had build-ups of dirt and were not washed properly, council officers found.

As of Thursday (October 19), the restaurant has a food hygiene rating of one.

Councillor Ranjit Dheer, cabinet member for community services and safety at Ealing Council , said the Southall restaurant showed “no improvement” between the visits.

Use a thermometer: 21 sickened: Campy in UK liver pate, again

Yorkshire Coast Radio reports Diversorium Ltd, the company which owns and operates the Downe Arms, a country inn hotel in Wykeham near Scarborough, has been fined £8,000 for two serious food hygiene related offences after an outbreak of Campylobacter food poisoning was traced back to contaminated chicken liver pate eaten at the hotel.

Following a prosecution by Scarborough Borough Council, Diversorium Ltd pleaded guilty at Scarborough Magistrates Court to two offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations after 21 people fell ill following a Christmas party night on 17 December 2016 and a Christmas break package at the hotel during the same month. The court ruled that fines of £5,000 and £3000 respectively should be paid for the offences. The company was also ordered to pay the council £2170 in costs.

The council’s Environmental Health team received complaints from those affected by the food poisoning and during the subsequent investigation it was apparent that there were a number of issues which were not consistent with good hygiene practices and food safety management records were incomplete. In particular, the process for preparing the chicken liver pate had not been validated by appropriate temperature monitoring and recording, and food safety was not being managed effectively. The extensive investigation, carried out in conjunction with Public Health England, concluded that the pate was the most probable cause of the illness. The business was subsequently marked down to a food hygiene rating of 1 (major improvement necessary).

UK woman critically ill with E.coli O55

A young woman from Guildford has been left in a critical condition in hospital after she contracted E.coli O55.

Alexander Brock of Get Surrey writes the victim and her sister, whose family have asked us not to name, both fell ill within hours of each other on Saturday September 16.

Public Health England (PHE) confirmed it was investigating “a confirmed case of E.coli O55 in Surrey.”

The eldest of the two sisters, aged 22, recovered after a few days of having symptoms such as diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

However, the health of the younger sister, 19, quickly deteriorated and she was rushed to Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford a few days after becoming ill.

She then suffered kidney failure, which developed into hemolytic uremic syndrome.

This led to several of her organs failing, including her heart. The woman has been in critical condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London since September 27.

The strain has been confirmed as E.coli O55, which 31 people contracted in an outbreak in Dorset between July 2014 and November 2015.

In a statement, PHE added there had been other recorded E.coli cases in children in neighbouring areas which have been “identified as being potentially linked.”

 

‘Pathetic’ £450,000 fine because of crypto in UK water supply

Ed Walker of Blog Preston writes the reason why Prestonians couldn’t drink their water without boiling it for a month has finally been revealed.

United Utilities has been fined after a cryptosporidium outbreak at its Franklaw treatment plants to the north of Preston,

The Drinking Water Inspectorate found the problems came from the Franklaw works using a different reservoir to source water

Rainwater running off agricultural land was able to access an underground water tank at Barnacre.

A ‘planned change in operations’ allowed the entry of the contaminated water into the treatment process.

Traces of cryptosporidium were detected in the water at Franklaw triggering a shut off of supplies for 700,000 people across Lancashire.

Supplies for many were knocked out for a month during the summer of 2015 as engineers worked to fix the issue.

At Preston Crown Court the hearing fined United Utilities £300,000 and additional costs of £150,000 were also agreed. The firm had pleaded guilty to supplying water unfit for human consumption.

United Utilities was criticised for not acting fast enough to issue the boil water warning to households and businesses.

It has since paid out £20million in compensation to customers through reduced water bills.

The fine was branded ‘pathetic’ by Preston MP Mark Hendrick.

‘Pure greed’ UK couple who faked holiday sickness are jailed

A couple have been jailed for making fake holiday sickness claims in a landmark case.

Liverpool Crown Court heard Deborah Briton, 53, and partner Paul Roberts, 43, tried to claim compensation by stating they and their two children had fallen ill on holidays to Majorca in 2015 and 2016.

But the couple’s social media showed posts where they boasted of holidays full of “sun, laughter and fun”, reports the Daily Mail.

Briton sobbed as she was sentenced to nine months in prison after admitting four counts of fraud in the private prosecution, brought by holiday company Thomas Cook.

Roberts, who was sentenced to 15 months after admitting the same offences, cried and shook in the court throughout the hearing.

The court heard the couple, from Wallasey, Wirral, tried to claim nearly £20,000 ($33,800) for the fake gastric illnesses and would have also cost the holiday firm a further £28,000 ($47,323) in legal expenses had their claims been successful.

Sentencing, Judge David Aubrey QC said their claims had been a “complete and utter sham”.

He said the claims, made in August last year, must have required planning and premeditation.

He said: “Why? Pure greed. Seeking to get something for nothing.”

Eggs are going to have Salmonella in ways we can’t predict, because we are mere mortals: Brits say, we know better

On the same day that Australia celebrated national egg day with vid-clips of schoolchildren pronouncing their love of eggs, the UK Food Standards Authority says it’s OK for pregnant women to eat raw eggs.

These are both so wrong on so many levels.

The UK’s contribution to international cuisine has been mushy peas and mad cow disease.

The UK Food Standards Authority’s contribution to food policy has been cook your food until it is piping hot, and now, it’s OK for pregnant women to eat raw eggs.

With five daughters, I’ve spent a lot of time around pregnant women, they may feel like Rocky Balboa, but biology don’t work that way.

The Food Standards Agency has announced a change to its advice about eating eggs – infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked eggs that are produced under the British Lion Code of Practice.

The revised advice, based on the latest scientific evidence, means that people vulnerable to infection or who are likely to suffer serious symptoms from food poisoning (such as infants, children, pregnant women and elderly people) can now safely eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs or foods containing them.

We had previously advised that vulnerable groups should not consume raw or lightly cooked eggs, because eggs may contain salmonella bacteria which can cause serious illness.  

The decision to change the advice is a result of the findings from an expert group that was set up by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) in February 2015 to look at egg safety. Its report, published in July 2016, highlighted that the presence of salmonella in UK eggs has been dramatically reduced in recent years, and the risks are very low for eggs which have been produced according to food safety controls applied by the British Lion Code of Practice. More than 90% of UK eggs are produced under this scheme.

Heather Hancock, Chairman of the Food Standards Agency, said: “It’s good news that now even vulnerable groups can safely eat UK eggs without needing to hardboil them, so long as they bear the British Lion mark. The FSA has thoroughly reviewed the scientific evidence about the safety of these eggs, and we’re confident that we can now change our advice to consumers.

“The major reduction in the risk of salmonella in Lion eggs is testament to the work carried out by egg producers. The measures they’ve taken, from vaccination of hens through to improving hygiene on farms and better transportation, have dramatically reduced salmonella levels in UK hens.”

A range of interventions have been put in place across the food chain as part of the Lion scheme including: vaccinating hens, enhanced testing for salmonella, improved farm hygiene, effective rodent control, independent auditing and traceability, and keeping the eggs cool while transporting them from farm to shop.

Great. Show us mere mortals the numbers.

And any science-based body that recommends cooking food until it is piping hot is seriously suspect.

Egg farmer David Brass says the introduction of the British Lion standard has made all the difference.

“We know from back in the ’80s when all the scare started, there was an issue with eggs.

“But what the Lion standard does, it is a fully independent, audited code of practice to make sure we have standards on the farm that make sure we can’t have any of those disease problems again.

“And it has shown time after time, in those intervening years, that it is just a brilliant food safety code.”

Yup, audits make the difference (not).

This won’t end well.

In Australia, the morning shows were filled with fluff about the greatness of eggs, with no mention of the following outbreaks involving raw eggs or raw-egg sauces.

A table of Australian egg outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/raw-egg-related-outbreaks-australia-10-9-15.xlsx

Barf scam: UK cracks down

Food is, and remains, 21st century snake oil.

For every fatal, life-threatening or barf-inducing foodborne illness, there’s a grifter, huckster or con around the corner.

According to Joe Hinton of the Daily Star, hoteliers in popular resorts say holidaymakers have been suffering “harassment” from conmen.

The fraudsters convince tourists to make false claims and then take a cut of any payout. A source told the Daily Star Sunday: “This is almost as big a business as drugs in some places.

“Yes, the authorities are trying to crack down, but there are still hundreds going through every week.

“Hotels don’t want the hassle of legal fees so they pay out more often than not.

 “All you need is a picture of a receipt for anti-sickness medication.

“Most people get £2,000 a claim. The tout skims off the top and so does the law firm.”

Now police are going undercover to catch the fraudsters, who are costing the hotel industry £60million a year.

The investigation has been backed by UK tour operators.

Freedom of Information documents seen by the Daily Star Sunday show that Jet2, Thomas Cook, Monarch and TUI are looking into hundreds of bogus claims in Mallorca and other islands.

The documents said: “The rise in the number of fraudulent claims is having a serious impact on contracts for next season as hoteliers turn to other markets such as Germany.

“And Spanish police are eager to make some arrests to start setting a clear example.”

UK tour operators and Spanish hotels have been hit with scores of compensation claims in the last few months.

Swindlers are making official complaints about food poisoning.

Then, on arrival in the UK they are getting anti-sickness drugs. Under our laws they don’t even need a doctor’s note – a pharmacy receipt is enough to make a claim.

Millions have already been paid out to holidaymakers – leading to chefs in the resorts being unjustly sacked.

Last week Brit mum Laura Joyce, 37, was arrested in Mallorca on suspicion of running a £9million holiday sickness scam.

She is accused of using middlemen to encourage holidaymakers to fake illnessness to claim compensation.

Jet2 has now hired private detectives to nail the cowboy companies touting for business.

It has already caught one couple touting for business in Benidorm.

Fancy food ain’t safe food, crab edition

The Crab in the Park Central Hotel restaurant, Exeter Road, Bournemouth, UK, which boasts two AA Rosettes and its chefs are ‘Michelin-star trained’ has been given a zero food hygiene rating after food inspectors launched an investigation.

‘Urgent improvement is necessary’ at after an impromptu inspection earlier this year.

Alex Winter of the Daily Echo writes inspectors raised concerns under the category ‘management of food safety’, which includes assessment of the system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat and evidence that staff know about food safety.

However, the inspectors also found improvements are also needed in categories ‘hygienic food handling’, which includes preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage, as well as ‘cleanliness and condition of facilities and building to enable good food hygiene’.

Seafood mains on the à la carte menu begin at £18.95 for ‘The Crab’s posh fish and chips’, while lobster linguine is £26.95.

The restaurant also offers delicacies including sashimi tuna tartar, scallops and octopus.

The manager of the Park Central Hotel had not returned calls from the Daily Echo at the time of going to press.