Council warns food businesses over hygiene

County businesses are being warned that health officers are carrying out inspections, with a council saying it comes amid "a reported decline in food hygiene standards nationwide during the pandemic".

Shropshire Council said inspections would increase in the coming weeks.
Shropshire Council said inspections would increase in the coming weeks.

Shropshire Council said its health protection team will be making unannounced visits to businesses to ensure they are up to date with hygiene laws.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said: “We appreciate the pandemic has had a significant effect on the hospitality trade. Many businesses were forced to close or have had a loss of income, but it is their responsibility to ensure they are fully compliant with the law when they are open.

“The pandemic has made it difficult for officers to carry out checks, but these will start ramping up again over the coming weeks and months.

“There is lots of information about how you can improve your business on our website, and our officers are here to help.”

Food safety legislation is enforced in a wide range of businesses, from corner shops and takeaways to large supermarkets, hotels and manufacturers.

During an inspection officers need to be assured that potential food safety risks have been identified, and that there are measures in place to prevent any problems. They will also look at the training of managers and food handlers, and will check the condition of the premises and equipment.

Simon Jones, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult social care and public health, added: “These inspections are vitally important to check that local businesses are complying with all the relevant safety standards. The public need to be confident that the food they are buying and eating is safe.

"We want all local businesses to be aiming for that 5-star food hygiene rating. It takes a lot of hard work, but it is the gold standard, and something the public look for.”

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