Hundreds of Wiltshire food businesses don't meet hygiene standards

Hundreds of Wiltshire food businesses don't meet hygiene standards

Published by Mike Draper at 5:41am 23rd September 2019. (Updated at 8:17am 23rd September 2019)

Many had a hygiene rating of two or below meaning improvements are necessary.

A total of 331 businesses in Wiltshire that handle food are failing to meet hygiene standards.

  • All food businesses are given a hygiene rating from zero to five
  • A rating of at least three indicates they are 'broadly compliant' with hygiene law

FALLING SHORT ON FOOD HYGIENE

There are 4,375 such establishments in Wiltshire, including restaurants, takeaways and shops, as well as food manufacturers and distributors. The figures come from the Food Hygiene Standards Agency.

Of these, 8%, that's 331, had a hygiene rating of two or below as of 2018-19, which means improvements are necessary.

This was marginally better than the rate across England, Wales and Northern Ireland where 9% of food businesses were found to be non-compliant.

However, not all establishments will have been inspected during the course of the year.

FOOD STANDARDS AGENCY RATINGS IN SALISBURY

Sprinkles Gelato shop on New Canal in Salisbury.
In May the FSA gave Salisbury's Sprinkles a ZERO rating for hygiene

THE HYGIENE RISKS

Businesses are also given a risk ranking to determine how often they need to be assessed, based on factors such as the type of food being handled or the number of consumers potentially at risk.

As of March, there were four Wiltshire businesses placed in the most high-risk category, three of which had a hygiene rating of less than three.

Of all the businesses that did face an inspection, or other form of assessment in 2018-19, a total of 20 were subject to some kind of formal action from the council or courts.

This included:

  • Four voluntary closures
  • One caution
  • 12 seizures of food not fit for consumption
  • Three hygiene improvement notices
  • Written warnings were issued to 1,347 businesses, while inspectors carried out two prosecutions

WHO CHECKS FOOD HYGIENE STANDARDS IN WILTSHIRE?

  • Wiltshire Council employs about the equivalent of 10 full-time members of staff who are responsible for managing food hygiene standards
  • That's 1.9 employees for every 1,000 businesses, lower than the national average of 2.6

Across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, council inspectors took enforcement actions, including informal written warnings, against almost 160,000 establishments.

Maria Jennings, director of regulatory compliance of the Food Standards Agency, said:

"Local authorities are there to ensure that food businesses produce food that is safe and what it says it is."

"One of the FSA's roles is to have oversight and assurance about their performance."

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