Dozens of Fenland firms failing to meet hygiene standards
Dozens of Fenland businesses that handle food are failing to meet hygiene standards, new data reveals.
All food businesses are given a hygiene rating from zero to five, with a rating of at least three indicating they are broadly compliant with hygiene law.
There are 808 establishments in Fenland, according to the latest data from the Food Hygiene Standards Agency, which includes restaurants, shops and takeaways as well as food manufacturers and distributors.
Fenland firms which have received a 5 very good rating include Pop's Porkers, in Wisbech St Mary; Silver Oak Coffee Shop in March Railway Station; and Amber's Cafe in Chatteris.
Of the 808 establishments, 34 – 4% – had a hygiene rating of two or below as of 2018-19, meaning improvements are necessary.
This was below the rate across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, where 9% of food businesses were found to be non-compliant.
Not all establishments will have been inspected during the course of the year.
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 three Fenland businesses placed in the most high-risk category – one 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, three were subject to some kind of formal action from the council or courts. This included two hygiene improvement notices, and one voluntary closure. Written warnings were issued to 94 businesses.
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. It is good to see an increase in the total percentage of planned hygiene interventions that local authorities are carrying out and an increase in premises with standards equivalent to a food hygiene rating of three, four and five."
Fenland District Council estimates that it employs the equivalent of 2.8 full-time members of staff who are responsible for managing food hygiene standards.
That's 3.4 employees for every 1,000 businesses, higher than the national average of 2.6.
Fenland firms which received less than satisfactory rating
- March Tandoori;
- Spice Bank, High Street, March;
- Club Q, High Street, March;
- Wisbech Market, Church Terrace;
- Shop 4 U, Victoria Road, Wisbech;
- Nene Supermarket, Lynn Road, Wisbech;
- 5 Stars Local, Quaker Lane, Wisbech;
- Baltika, High Street, Wisbech.
There are no 1 ratings in Chatteris