September 16, 2016
Orpington-based takeaway fined 5 grand for breaching food hygiene regulations
The owner of Morley’s Fried Chicken pleaded guilty to 12 charges under Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations.
The EU’s regulation 852/2004 Hygiene for Foodstuffs requires business to ensure all food handlers are supervised, instructed and trained in food hygiene. An inspection of Morley’s revealed multiple staff members handling food on a daily basis who had not received training, therefore failing to adhere to these standards.
Additionally, there were no documented food safety audits to demonstrate compliance and equipment was not being cleaned and maintained. The toilet on site also fell far below the level expected, with no lighting, hot water, soap or paper towel – putting consumers at risk of illness or even death. Rubbish was also not being stored in the correct manner.
The council’s food safety officer uncovered the offences during an inspection on 1st December 2015, which lead to further investigation of the fried chicken outlet.
Last month during a hearing at Bromley Magistrates Court the owner of Morley’s, Ramanan Selvaratnam, plead guilty to the 12 charges and was fined £5,280 plus £3,839 in prosecution costs.
Summary of Offences
- Failed to put in place, implement and maintain a permanent procedure based on the HACCP principles, namely by failing to establish and maintain documents and records commensurate with the nature and size of the food business.
- Failed to establish and implement effective monitoring procedures at a critical point, namely effective temperature monitoring in refrigerators and freezers.
- Failed to keep the food premises clean and maintained in good repair and condition.
- Failed to provide adequate artificial lighting in the WC compartment to enable the door to be closed during use.
- Failed to ensure that cleaning agents and disinfectants are not to be stored in areas where food is handled.
- Failed to maintain a MDF wood shelf in the rear food room in a sound condition and easy to clean and disinfect.
- Failed to provide hot running water and materials for cleaning and hygienic drying of hands.
- Failed to deposit food waste, non-edible by-products and other refuse in closable containers of appropriate construction and kept in sound condition.
- Failed to ensure that all articles fittings and equipment with which food comes into contact are effectively cleaned and where necessary disinfected to avoid risk of contamination.
- Failed to ensure that every person working in a food handling area is to wear suitable protective clothing when handling raw poultry and to remove such protective clothing before handling ready to eat food to prevent cross-contamination.
- Failed to ensure that at all stages of production, processing and distribution, food was protected against any contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption, injurious to health or contaminated in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be consumed in that state.
- Failed to ensure that food handlers were supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters commensurate with their work activity as required under.
Executive Councillor for Public Safety and Protection, Kate Lymer, hoped the fine would serve as an example to other non-conformists, saying: “We will take action to protect Bromley’s consumers and this prosecution and sentence gives a very strong message that this behaviour will not be tolerated. Bromley’s Food Safety Officers routinely inspect some 2000 premises across the borough to ensure that they are well run and that customers are protected from poor hygiene practices. They give guidance and advice to help businesses improve but will not hesitate to take strong action where they attempt to operate outside the law.”
Don’t fall short of food hygiene standards
All staff members who handle food in any way must be food hygiene compliant, regardless of the sector they work in – be it retail, manufacturing or hospitality. The worst thing about Mr Selvaratnam’s failure to adhere to these standards is that training your staff is quick and easy to arrange, particularly through e-learning – which enables the workforce to gain food hygiene certification anytime, anywhere. Appetite Learning’s Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering is simple to work through and has an online test at the end where learners can demonstrate their compliance. After passing the test, learners can print out a certificate, which can be displayed in the workplace.
Other areas Mr Selvaratnam failed in was employing a documented food safety management system and having monitoring records in place to keep food hygiene standards adequate. Although in the day-to-day running of any business it can be difficult to supervise every member of staff’s practices, tools such as our one for Audits can make things a lot easier, as well as streamlining your costs. Although designed initially to help simplify the annual round of audits businesses face, our tool can also be used for monitoring daily tasks. Each employee can complete a questionnaire to ensure they have executed all asks expected of them to adhere to food safety and hygiene standards. Data is also displayed in an accessible, visual way – so areas of non-compliance can be identified quickly.
The inclusion of such technology within your food business can take the stress out of meeting hygiene standards. Contact Appetite Learning today on 01293 610473 or fill out a contact form and we’ll call you back.