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Food clampdown launched

Published Monday, 14 July 2014

Enfield Council has launched a clampdown on shops selling out of date food as part of a drive to raise standards amongst retailers.

Enfield Council’s Food safety officers visited 27 minimarkets last Tuesday (July 8) to carry out food hygiene inspections and also checked the food on display was safe to eat. Of the premises visited 16 were found to have food that was on sale after its Use By date had expired and more than 130 items, including sandwiches, cooked meats, yoghurts, desserts, dips and cream cakes were seized as evidence.
Selling food past its Use By date is illegal, because they are found on products such as milk., soft cheese, ready prepared salads, cooked meat and smoked fish  which go off quickly. The council is currently considering whether to prosecute the offending companies.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Community Safety, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “It is completely unacceptable that food businesses in this borough do not understand they cannot sell out of date food to our residents. It is a fundamental part of operating as a food business and we are addressing this alarming gap in knowledge as a matter of urgency.
“We will not tolerate this cavalier approach to food safety and we will continue to monitor and work with businesses to ensure they comply with the standards and practices we expect of them in order to keep consumers in Enfield safe from harm.
”Those who cannot or will not acknowledge the importance of complying with food hygiene rules need to know they run the very risk of closure or prosecution.”
As well as finding out of date food, businesses also were found with no hot water for staff toilets, food not been stored at the correct chilled temperature, there was a lack of wash basins for staff to use when handling open food and there was evidence of date marking on some foods being tampered.
All the food businesses visited were given an information leaflet on ‘Use By’ and ‘Best Before’ dates, including daily checks that should be carried out.

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