Food safety management: the UK version

My 28-year-old music therapist came over for her one hour session this morning which is the highlight of my week. I sing and play guitar like no one is watching. And I introduce her to 50-year-old songs, like those on Workingman’s Dead, which we played this morning in its entirety (Oh, and Chapman, she likes Jimmy Buffett, so suck it).

This paper forms part of an ongoing project studying various approaches to the management of hazards and risk in the food industry with implications for other areas of risk management where cooperation and collaboration between organisations are of a potential benefit. In this paper we give particular focus to the Food Standard Agency’s proposed Regulating Our Future that requires closer cooperation and collaboration between the public enforcement authorities and the industry organisations that police food hygiene and food safety management. The forming of a Primary Authority between Cornwall Council and Safe and Local Supplier Approval (SALSA) emerged as a potential means of contributing to this by improving trust between all parties involved, sharing of information, assessing risk, reducing inspection times and frequency of inspections from Primary Authority. Attention is given to the current relationship between the various organisations involved from the perspectives and viewpoints of Local Authority Enforcement Officers from Preston City Council, Cornwall Council and SALSA and other experienced food safety professionals. The research is qualitative and grounded, including a review of the extant literature and interviews with food safety and food standards professionals from the private and public enforcement sectors.

Approaches to the management and policing of food safety: The food standard agency’s regulating our future, 2019

International Journal of Management and Applied Research vol. 7 no. 2

Richard Bradford-Knox, Kevin Kane, Simon Neighbour

http://ijmar.org/v7n2/20-012.pdf

Fancy food ain ‘t safe food: UK restaurant fined £10,000

An award-winning Fishguard restaurant and its two directors have been ordered to pay more than £15,200 for food safety offences, with one of them prohibited from operating a food business.

Both directors of JT3 Restaurant in Fishguard, Daniel Wynne Jones and Lois Thomas, along with their company Me‘n’u1 Ltd, pleaded guilty to all offences at Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Friday, 3 July.

They were fined a total of £10,700 with more than £4,500 costs, and Daniel Wynne Jones was also banned from operating a food business.

In a prosecution brought by Pembrokeshire County Council, the court heard that the premises was issued a Food Hygiene Rating of 0 following an inspection in March 2019 by an officer from the authority’s Public Protection Division.

During the inspection the officer found the basement kitchen to be in a poor state of cleanliness and repair, with no disinfecting cleaning products or soap available, an inadequate water supply and flies present. There was no evidence of any food safety management system in use and the business scored a 0 food hygiene rating.

Two revisits were made to check for improvements, which were made, but the business failed to display their food hygiene rating sticker and had to be supplied with a new one, along with a warning.

Subsequent visits saw the sticker being hidden behind doors and then behind an umbrella hanging from a hook above it. A fixed penalty fine for the offence of failing to display the sticker went unpaid.

On 13 December 2019 another inspection was carried out at the restaurant. On arrival officers were told that the business was closed, but once in the kitchen, they found that a substantial amount of food preparation was going on and were dismayed to find that conditions had deteriorated again, including the ongoing poor structural condition and complete lack of any implemented food safety controls in relation to the safe production of food. Again, the business scored a 0 Food Hygiene rating.

By 19 December the situation had worsened to the point that two visits had to be made that day and a Remedial Action Notice served to prevent the manufacture of chicken liver parfait and duck. Improvement notices were also served to try to address the level of training and ensure that food safety procedures were introduced and sustained.

Unfortunately these improvement notices were not complied with and the food hygiene rating sticker remained deliberately hidden.

As well as the fine, costs of £4571.11 were awarded to the county council, with victim surcharges of £240.

And, on the 50th anniversary of Workingman’s Dead, one of my favorite albums, enjoy.

 

Tough mudders beware: there is E. coli risk

In August 2018, Public Health England (PHE) was made aware of five probable cases of Shiga toxin‐producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 among individuals reporting participation in a mud‐based obstacle race. An additional four cases, identified via routine whole‐genome sequencing, were subsequently linked to the same event. Two of the nine cases were due to secondary household transmission.

Despite an agreement between the event organizers and the local authority, to ensure that all livestock were removed from the site 28 days before the event, sheep were observed grazing on some of the routes taken by the runners 2 days prior to the race taking place. A retrospective review of incidents reported to PHE between 2015 and 2018 identified 41 cases of gastroenteritis associated with muddy assault course events. Of these, 25 cases were due to infection with STEC O157:H7, of which all but one were associated with outbreaks.

Due to the environment in which such events take place, it is impossible to entirely remove the risk of exposure to potentially pathogenic zoonoses. However, race organizers should ensure that livestock are removed from the course 28 days before the event. They should also ensure that participants are made aware of the risk of contracting gastrointestinal disease from the environment, and to stress the importance of hand hygiene post‐event and the risk of secondary transmission, particularly to children who are at risk of developing haemolytic uraemic syndrome.

An outbreak of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 linked to a mud-based obstacle course, England, August 2018

Zoonoses and Public Health

Alexander Sharp, Elizabeth Smout, Lisa Byrne, Rebecca Greenwood, Richard Abdoollah, Charlotte Hutchinson, Claire Jenkins, Nachi Arunachalam, Simon Padfield, Gareth Hughes, Mike Gent

https://doi.org/10.1111/zph.12744

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/zph.12744

Wife’s heartbreak as husband dies from Salmonella linked to duck eggs

A wife has been left heartbroken after her “loving and caring” husband died from salmonella linked to duck eggs he bought at Messingham Show.

Jamie Waller of Grimsby Live reports Niptoon Tavakoli was hospitalised days after eating the eggs and died after two months in intensive care.

He bought six duck eggs at Messingham Show on June 2, and ate four of them five days later.

Niptoon was among thousands of people who attended the 114th Messingham show last year, one of the biggest events of its kind in northern Lincolnshire.

But after eating the eggs Niptoon suffered with sickness and diarrhea and an ambulance was called to his home in Lindholme near Doncaster on June 7. It was decided not to take him to hospital.

But paramedics were again called on June 10, and Niptoon was taken into Doncaster Royal Infirmary where doctors found evidence of salmonella.

He was admitted to intensive care, but his condition continued to deteriorate.

He died on August 12, just over two months later.

A second case of salmonella from the same strain has since been confirmed in the West Midlands.

Niptoon’s wife Cheryl has called for answers into how he contracted the salmonella as an inquest into her husband’s death opens. Niptoon was stepdad to Cheryl’s two sons Andrew and Paul.

Recommend using a thermometer instead of piping hot: FSA food safety culture

Jose Bolanos of the UK Food Standards Agency writes in Organizations, culture and food safety, 2020that FSA has a longstanding interest in organisational culture and its impact on the capability of a food business to provide food that is safe and what it says it is.

However, while there has been some work carried out on assessing organisational culture in some regulatory areas, there has been limited progress in the development of a regulatory approach specifically for food safety culture.

And on it goes in bureau-speak.

Can’t take an agency seriously when they still recommend that meat be cooked until piping hot.

58 sickened: UK wedding caterers fined for salmonella-infected hog roast

A catering firm that “spoiled” a couple’s wedding day with a salmonella-ridden hog roast has been ordered to pay nearly £250,000.

In total, 58 guests fell ill after tucking into the meaty centrepiece at Vicki and Phil Kemp’s reception.

The pair were so ill they had to cancel their Dominican Republic honeymoon, Cannock Magistrates’ Court heard.

Galloping Gourmet Ltd admitted two food safety offences, was fined £200,000 and ordered to pay £49,936 in costs.

Lichfield District Council, which identified the salmonella outbreak, described the contaminated meat as “dangerously undercooked”.

It added the firm had not taken customers’ health and safety seriously enough.

IT technician Mr Kemp, 35, of Burntwood, Lichfield, said in a statement: “My illness lasted around 10 days all in all, but the symptoms were so bad that we had no option but to cancel our honeymoon. I was totally devastated.


 

Raw is risky: UK Happy Hounds recalls frozen raw dog food products due to Salmonella

The Food Standards Agency reports Happy Hounds is recalling certain types of frozen raw dog food because salmonella has been found in the products.

Product details

Frozen Chicken & Beef Sleeve Dog Food
Pack size 1kg
Batch code 1205
Best before 3 September 2020
Frozen Chicken Mince Sleeve Dog Food
Pack size 1kg
Batch code 1205
Best before 3 September 2020

 

Frozen Chicken Mince Dog Food
Pack size 2.5kg (bag of 4)
Batch code 1205
Best before 3 September 2020

Risk statement

The presence of salmonella in the products listed above. Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause illness in humans and animals. The product could therefore carry a potential risk because of the presence of salmonella, either through direct handling of the pet food, or indirectly, for example from pet feeding bowls, utensils or contact with the faeces of animals.

In humans, symptoms caused by salmonella usually include fever, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps. Infected animals may not necessarily display signs of illness, but symptoms can include diarrhoea.

Action taken by the company

Happy Hounds is recalling the above products. Point of sale notices will be displayed in all retail stores that are selling these products. These notices explain to customers why the products are being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the product.

Our advice to consumers

Our advice to pet owners: If you have bought any of the above products do not use them. Instead, return them to the store from where they were bought for a full refund. When handling and serving raw pet food it is always advised to clean utensils and feeding bowls thoroughly after use. Consumers should wash hands thoroughly after handling raw pet food, bowls, utensils or after contact with the faeces of animals. Raw pet food should be stored separately from any food (especially ready to eat foods). Care should be taken when defrosting to avoid cross contamination of foods and surfaces.

UK: Health inspector warned hospital that listeria would grow on sandwiches in its broken fridges that were 5C too hot just three days before patient

The hospital where a cancer patient was killed by a listeria-infected sandwich was warned its fridges were broken and too hot several days before he died, it was revealed in early November..

Ian Hitchcock, 52, died in June after eating a contaminated meal – a scandal that appears to have claimed the lives of six people in the UK this year.

Today it emerged sandwiches at Royal Derby Hospital, where Mr Hitchcock was receiving cancer treatment, were kept in ‘ineffective’ fridges that warmed the food to above 8C – an offence under 2013 food safety laws.

The problem was found by experts inspecting the kitchen on June 4 and 5 where an environmental health officer said the broken fridges were serving food at illegal temperatures.

A report said the food was a particular risk to anyone with a weakened immune system, such as cancer sufferer Mr Hitchcock.

On June 8 he died after eating one of the pre-packed sandwiches.

Ian Hitchcock, 52, died after eating a pre-packaged sandwich while being treated for cancer at the Royal Derby Hospital last week. His death is being linked to an NHS listeria outbreak which has so far claimed five lives +2

Ian Hitchcock, 52, died after eating a pre-packaged sandwich while being treated for cancer at the Royal Derby Hospital last week. His death is being linked to an NHS listeria outbreak which has so far claimed five lives

In a letter, seen by the BBC, food safety inspector Jayne Hassall said ‘high risk foods’  such as sandwiches were ‘stored outside temperature control due to ineffective refrigerators’.

Norovirus outbreak at Lego event leaves more than 40 people suffering with sickness and diarrhea

The organisers of the Bristol Brick show say they are ‘devastated’ and an investigation has been launched by the city’s health authorities.

Nearly 4,000 people visited the Action Indoor Sports centre to celebrate Lego but after the event more than 40 attendees started experiencing sickness and diarrhoea.

One Lego fan, who wishes to remain anonymous, said he was not happy with the cleanliness of the venue.

He said: “The state of the place left a lot to be desired.”

“The food wasn’t great and over the weekend, the toilets weren’t well maintained, the basins didn’t work well and there was no hand sanitiser and that sort of thing.”

“At least 40 people that I know about have been affected.”

Nice handle: Butter Me Up café prosecuted for food safety offences

Bristol News reports employees at a Bishopsworth café have been fined for food hygiene offences after pleading guilty to a string of safety standards breaches.

Laura West and Donna Flanagan, who were running the small Butter Me Up premises at Highridge Road, were also ordered to pay totals including prosecution costs of £2,937 and £2,855 respectively at Bristol Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to a number of offences at an earlier hearing.

The pair were also given an open-ended Hygiene Prohibition Order, banning them from participating in the management of any food business which, if breached, amounts to a criminal offence which could lead to a prison sentence.

Environmental Health officers from Bristol City Council launched an immediate investigation and visited the café in July 2018, having been alerted to the death of an elderly gentleman from suspected food poisoning after he and a friend were hospitalised.

Officers discovered that the business had been operating since November 2015 but had not registered with the Council since it opened. The café was also displaying a food safety sticker with a rating of 5, the highest rating, which belonged to a previous business at the same address.

Environmental health officers noted a range of further food safety offences, including little to no food hygiene and safety training, no written food safety management, poor pest control and lack of reliable disinfection practices. Environmental swabs and a cloth that had been used for handling equipment showed that food poisoning bacteria were widespread throughout the premises, indicating poor cleaning practices.