Owners of UK takeaway fined £1,400 each after children choked on cling film in pizza

Majid Ali, Muhammad Akram and Hamed Jabbar – who together own Star Takeaway in Oxford Road – pleaded guilty to four offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 and breaching Food Hygiene Regulations at Reading Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The court heard how, on September 4 last year, the takeaway sold a customer a 12” chicken and sweetcorn pizza with cling film embedded in it, which was then eated by the buyer’s two young children.

Star-Takeaway-pizzaJPGWhen the buyer complained to Reading’s Environmental Health department, council officers visited the restaurant and found that staff were untrained in food hygiene principles, that there was no food safety management system in place and that lettuce was at risk of contamination from defrosting raw chicken nearby.

At the hearing, District Judge Davinder Larchar said: “Had the children choked to death on the cling film, you all could have been facing a more serious charge now at the Crown Court – murder or manslaughter.

“Health and safety practices are there for a reason: to protect the public. You started a new food business and have tried to do it on the cheap, without any training given to staff. You should have put all the procedures in place before opening for business.”

Failure to make councils check school toilets ‘risks poisoning’

Whenever there’s an outbreak of norovirus or some other tummy upset that forces large numbers of students to call in sick, check the bathrooms.

Are the tools for proper handwashing – running water, soap and paper towel – actually available?

And while a report titled, A Response to School Toilets: Best Practice Guidance for Primary and Secondary Schools in Wales, may not make exciting bathroom reading, continual attention to hygiene basics consistently reduces the numbers of people barfing.

Consumer Focus Wales (CFW) made the same point today, arguing that children face an increased risk of contracting and spreading deadly bugs because councils will not be forced to check school toilet hygiene.

As part of the South Wales E.coli public inquiry, Professor Hugh Pennington recommended that every council should have a program of audits to ensure all schools have adequate toilet and handwashing facilities.

Jennie Bibbings, CFW’s senior policy advocate, said: “In the current financial climate school toilets might be a low priority but hygiene standards could suffer and the risk of illness among school children increases.

The public inquiry into the 2005 E. coli O157 outbreak in South Wales heard shocking evidence about the state of school toilets. In some of the schools in the outbreak area there was no running hot water or even soap for children to wash their hands.

Peter Clarke, Wales’ first Children’s Commissioner, had highlighted concerns about the lack of soap and toilet paper in some schools in 2004 – a year before butcher William Tudor caused the E.coli O157 outbreak.

And his successor Mr Towler again highlighted the sub-standard facilities in his third annual report last year.

“Currently I’m seeing inequality across the country with some schools having made considerable improvement while other pupils feel so strongly about it they refuse to use the toilet during the school day.”

Consumer Focus Wales said it should also include standards for staff facilities because successive food hygiene inspection reports have revealed variable performance among school canteens in the provision of hand washing facilities.”