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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The Highland Council has paid tribute to Mr Des Devine, former Surveyor at the Council who died earlier this week. Steve Barron, Chief Executive said: "It is with great sadness that we heard that Des Devine passed away this week after a long and brave battle with cancer.
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Dr James Vance, Head Teacher at Culloden Academy has been appointed as interim Head of Education Services with The Highland Council's Care and Learning Service. Dr Vance, who starts his new employment in January 2019, will be based at the Council's headquarters on Glenurquhart Road, Inverness.
The Highland Council has submitted a planning application for a low head hydroelectric development at the Torvean Weir on the River Ness at land 430m south west of Highland Rugby Club, on Bught Road, Inverness Using an Archimedes screw the hydroelectric scheme will have a generating capacity of up to 100kW and an average annual renewable energy output of approximately 600,000 kWh per annum. The renewable energy generated will return an income to the Council through the Feed in Tariff mechanism and be connected to the local Archive Centre and leisure centre.
The Highland Council is carrying out the formal review of its Polling Districts and Places. This review is required in terms of the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013 as all polling districts and polling places should be reviewed at least every four years.
The Scottish Government's announcement of a consultation on the introduction of a visitor levy ("tourist tax") has been welcomed by The Highland Council. Convener Bill Lobban recently gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee, where he emphasised the importance of tourism to the Highlands.
The Highland Council has appointed a new Chief Executive. The successful candidate is Donna Manson, currently Service Director for Children and Young People in the Scottish Borders.
Local services throughout Scotland could be plunged into crisis after - UNISON, Unite and the GMB - wrote to COSLA to say they will recommend their members reject their revised pay offer when they consult them in the coming weeks. The revised pay offer, made by COSLA on 6th September 2018, was a 3% increase for all local government workers earning up to £80,000, but the trade unions are angry that this is below inflation and does not improve low pay.
Members have discussed the consultation and proposed response to a review of the structure of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme. The Highland Council Pension Fund is one of eleven constituent funds of the Scottish Local Government Pension Scheme.
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