Recently the owners of a café were fined £14,140 after being found guilty of food hygiene offences. During a routine inspection by the local environmental health officer in November 2011, it emerged that the gas boiler at the premises was broken and there was no running hot water to supply a hand wash basin or the food and equipment sinks. The owners were given a warning at this stage, but chose to ignore it and when the EHO re-visited, a hygiene improvement notice was issued.
Further visits to the premises in February and April 2012 found that a tea urn was being used to provide a limited supply of hot water. The council allowed this as a temporary measure until the boiler was repaired, but still decided to prosecute the business owners because of their persistent failure to comply with food safety requirements and legal notices.
Unfortunately the breakdown of equipment is not uncommon within our industry and this incident shows that EHOs will show understanding. However, if no effort is being made to rectify the situation or to put in a contingency plan, then they will inevitably take formal action.
It is very important that any actions requested by your EHO are addressed promptly and you should always advise them that the action has been completed.
Please contact Food Alert on 020 7244 1900 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries.