Food squads revealed shocking health risks at Sheffield eateries

Environmental Health Officers who are part of a new national 'Food Safety Squad' (left to right) Ben Milligan, Principal Environmental Health Officer, Sara Quinn, Environmental Health Officer and Andrew Bradley, Environmental Health Manager, inspect a fridge at a catering facility in Merton, South London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday April 3, 2012. A campaign called 'Play it Safe' has been launched by the Food Standards Agency to raise awareness of the importance of food safety in the run up to and during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Environmental Health Officers who are part of a new national 'Food Safety Squad' (left to right) Ben Milligan, Principal Environmental Health Officer, Sara Quinn, Environmental Health Officer and Andrew Bradley, Environmental Health Manager, inspect a fridge at a catering facility in Merton, South London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday April 3, 2012. A campaign called 'Play it Safe' has been launched by the Food Standards Agency to raise awareness of the importance of food safety in the run up to and during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
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PEST problems, poor hygiene and contaminated food are just some of the horrors health watchdogs have uncovered at Sheffield eateries.

Figures obtained through The Star’s Your Right to Know campaign have revealed Sheffield Council closed down 27 food premises between January last year and September.

The decision to shut down businesses comes when inspectors believe there is an ‘imminent risk to health’.

The authority carried out 2,581 inspections at restaurants and takeaways across the city during the same period, with 20 given the lowest score of zero in the food hygiene rating scheme, while 204 were given a rating of one.

The highest a premises can score is five.

Some of the worst offenders were dragged through the courts this year.

In September, Shahi Kebab and Chinos in London Road – both owned by the same food operator – were slapped with £2,000 fines after they failed to meet food hygiene regulations.

Chinos was forced to cough up after inspectors found it was not clean and maintained in good repair, surfaces where food is prepared were not in sound condition and a safety management system had not been put in place.

Officials also had evidence food sold at the business in February was contaminated with a piece of mop.

Meanwhile, Shahi Kebab was prosecuted for non-compliance with Food Hygiene Improvement Notices.

Chinese take-away Jade House, in Bellhouse Road, Shiregreen, was forced to fork out £1,000 compensation and £370 in court costs in May for failing to have adequate procedures in place to control pests, failure to keep equipment which comes into contact with food in good order and failure to protect food from contamination. And in March last year, Love Coffee, Meadowhall Way, Meadowhall, was prosecuted for selling an ice cream cone contaminated with a metal blade

Michael Bluff, principal officer at Sheffield Council’s environment and regulatory services, said: “Within 14 days of an inspection the premises is written to, to explain what actions they must take in order to comply with the law and improve their Food Hygiene Rating. Officers revisit all premises rated zero or one to ensure improvements have been made.

“In 2011-12 there were 25 revisits to premises rated as zero and 194 revisits to premises rated as one.

“If the necessary improvements have not been made then the officer may take further enforcement action such as serving Hygiene Improvement Notices, a simple caution or prosecution.”

This resulted in the service of 93 Hygiene Improvement Notices and four successful prosecutions.”

Valal Sazen, owner of Chinos and Shahi Kebab, said: “We have carried out all of the improvements we were told to at both premises.”