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Revealed: The number of food premises in Tower Hamlets served with a written warning for hygiene issues

PUBLISHED: 13:30 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:30 27 September 2018

The number of health warnings that have been handed out in the borough has been revealed. Pic:PA

The number of health warnings that have been handed out in the borough has been revealed. Pic:PA

Archant

Almost 1,200 written warnings were handed out to businesses in Tower Hamlets for food hygiene issues over the last year, it has been revealed today.

Data from the Food Standards Agency shows that hygiene officers handed out 1,279 written warnings after inspecting 2,894 businesses over the 12 months to this April.

The businesses inspected are mostly restaurants, but include any establishment which handles unpacked food including farms, manufacturers and catering companies.

Any breach of food hygiene regulations can lead to a written warning. Breaches include problems with cleanliness, training of staff, record keeping, washing facilities and separation of cooked and raw foods.

Officials consider the seriousness of the case, as well as the co-operation of the business, before deciding on what action to take.

As well as the written warnings, in Tower Hamlets there were 23 hygiene improvement notices, seven hygiene prohibition notices, six food seizures and two detention notices.

Inspectors carried out seven successful prosecutions in court, for food hygiene breaches.

High risk scores were given to 45 businesses. This means they need to be inspected again within six months.

This rating is different from the 0 to 5 score that restaurants and takeaways display in their windows, as it is an indicator of when officials need to assess the business again.

A business which gets a high risk rating is “highly likely” to have breached food hygiene regulations, according to the FSA.

However it could also be because of its trade, such as large scale manufacturers with lots of customers or businesses that carry out specialist procedures.

In total there were more than 150,000 written warnings handed out in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2017-18, and 267 successful prosecutions. Scotland collects its data separately.

Nina Purcell, director of Regulatory Delivery at the FSA, said: “It’s encouraging that local authorities have made improvements in the percentage of interventions achieved and are continuing to target their activities at food businesses where food safety risks are the highest or where food fraud is more likely.”

An FSA spokeswoman encouraged people who see bad food hygiene to report it to the council.

To file a report visit here.

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