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Two Caithness Takeaways Closed By Highland Council Environmental Health

3rd October 2018

Joint operation identifies poor standards of food safety and staff living accommodation.

Highland Council Environmental Health Officers were required to take formal enforcement action regarding poor standards of food safety during a recent multi-agency operation led by Immigration Enforcement. Concerns were also uncovered regarding poor standards found within staff living accommodation.

Visits were undertaken to three takeaway premises in Alness on Wednesday 26 September, and a further 5 premises in Wick and Thurso on Thursday 27 September 2018.

The principal issues identified were poor food handling practices in respect of preventing cross contamination and the lack of any proper food safety management system. Formal Remedial Action Notices were served on the food business operators for

Sweet & Spicy, Novar Road, Alness;

Bengal Spice, High Street, Alness;

Bombay Spice Bridge Street, Wick;

Shelina Spice, Provost Sinclair Road, Thurso.

The Remedial Action Notices required the closure of the premises until such time as the issues identified were satisfactorily addressed.

A further concern identified was the poor standard of staff accommodation linked to several takeaway premises, with properties failing to meet the Repairing Standard or the Highland Council requirements for Houses in Multiple Occupation. Where staff accommodation is being provided by employers it is essential that they ensure it meets all the legislative requirements for such rented accommodation and maintain it in a safe condition for the occupants

Gregor MacCormick, Highland Council's Senior Environmental Health Officer, said:"The standard of food safety found within a number of the takeaway premises visited was found to be poor and in these circumstances our Service will not hesitate to take formal enforcement action to ensure public health.

"All food business operators require having a food safety management system (FSMS) in place and staff who have received adequate food hygiene training. It is essential that suitable steps are implemented to prevent the risk of cross contamination between raw and cooked foods in takeaway premises such as these where high risk food stuffs are being prepared. A FSMS helps to generate a system that encourages safe food production and gives peace of mind to the business owners.

“Our Service would urge all food businesses to ensure they have a food safety management system such as “Cooksafe" in place, otherwise risk similar formal enforcement action requiring to be taken."

The Council's Environmental health Service will continue to work in partnership with Immigration Enforcement and other relevant agencies to conduct such interventions in the future in an effort to improve standards.

 

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