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Home   Medway   News   Article

Medway named third worst in the country for food hygiene checks in Which? report

15 January 2014
by Jenni Horn

Bosses at Medway Council said huge improvements have been made to make sure businesses are complying with food hygiene regulations.

The authority has hit back at a damning report which placed Medway among the worst in the country for inspection checks.

Library image.

Library image.

Councils that have been failing to ensure food businesses comply with hygiene regulations have been named and shamed by consumer watchdog Which? in a report published this week.

The investigation, using data from the Food Standards Agency (FSA), rated 395 local authorities based on the number of inspections it carries out, how many high and medium-risk food premises were not complying with safety rules, the amount of follow-up action taken and the percentage of premises yet to receive a risk rating.

Medway was ranked the third worst performing authority in the country. It was found there were 2,417 food premises in the Towns that have to be checked, including restaurants, care homes and schools.

Environmental health officers inspected 78.4% and of these 78.3% complied with regulations, meaning they have a hygiene rating score of three or more stars. Just 38.4% of follow-up action on failing premises was carried out.

Which? said the failings are often down to food enforcement services suffering cuts and staff being over-stretched.

Medway Council said it has made vast improvements in food hygiene testing since the Food Standard Agency data was compiled and reduced the number of premises awaiting a rating.

Robin Cooper

Robin Cooper

Robin Cooper, director of community and culture, said: “We have undertaken testing for a number of different food products, including horsemeat.

“As a result of working closely with the Food Standards Agency to reduce the number of food premises awaiting a rating, Medway is now placed 190 out of the 330 English local councils since we were last audited by the Agency, placing Medway in mid-table.

“The council considers food hygiene standards are important for local businesses to maintain public confidence. We have had a number of successful prosecutions and will continue to be vigilant.”

The Food Standards Agency said Medway’s food standards hygiene team have “really dug deep” to turn the service around and said there has been an improvement in the number of unrated businesses and a notable increase in the percentage of compliant businesses.

 

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