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One percent

Yet another food scandal

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This isn’t going to end until there are a good number of deaths

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/23/fear-of-uk-meat-scandal-as-data-shows-hygiene-breaches-at-most-plants

The scale of food safety and hygiene problems in meat plants around much of the UK is revealed by new analysis showing more than half of all audited plants have had at least one “major” breach in the last three years.

Inspection figures from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) reveal there were on average 16 major plant safety infractions every week between 2014-2017, according to a data analysis conducted this week by the Guardian and Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

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The penalties are pathetic so there is little concern about breach on behalf of the management; nobody's head is on the line.

There was a series called Health Inspectors and they found things in restaurant kitchens they would make you puke if you saw them just after editing there.  Things like rotting meat dripping onto the veg.

The immediate penalty would be something like "throw it away" followed by a notification of a repeat visit and a tick two weeks later.

That the inspection regime lacks teeth is somewhat of an understatement and yes I agree that it will take scores of deaths before it gets seriously ramped up.

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We had our environmental health inspection last week. I have to say, even though we have nothing to "fear", it doesn't feel like they lack teeth. This inspector was a little more human than some we have had in the past this time and of course everything went well but if you run a food business properly for some reason the process is still a threatening one. She claimed one of our freezers was only at -8 degrees C when it showed -16. She put a second of her thermometers inside which proved it was her first thermometer which was not working properly, despite according to her being calibrated last week. Then you see what is going on in some other places and wonder how the hell they get away with it. There are many places I will not buy from for exactly this reason.

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20 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

The penalties are pathetic so there is little concern about breach on behalf of the management; nobody's head is on the line.

There was a series called Health Inspectors and they found things in restaurant kitchens they would make you puke if you saw them just after editing there.  Things like rotting meat dripping onto the veg.

The immediate penalty would be something like "throw it away" followed by a notification of a repeat visit and a tick two weeks later.

That the inspection regime lacks teeth is somewhat of an understatement and yes I agree that it will take scores of deaths before it gets seriously ramped up.

Someone - was it @SNACR? Posted about low level stomach upsets because of poor food hygiene?  

I bet an awful lot of ibs and suchlike is caused this way. 

I was seriously ill a couple of years ago from a bag of prepared salad from marks’.  Would not tough it again. 

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1 minute ago, man o' the year said:

We had our environmental health inspection last week. I have to say, even though we have nothing to "fear", it doesn't feel like they lack teeth. This inspector was a little more human than some we have had in the past this time and of course everything went well but if you run a food business properly for some reason the process is still a threatening one. She claimed one of our freezers was only at -8 degrees C when it showed -16. She put a second of her thermometers inside which proved it was her first thermometer which was not working properly, despite according to her being calibrated last week. Then you see what is going on in some other places and wonder how the hell they get away with it. There are many places I will not buy from for exactly this reason.

Lots of reason I would guess. Round me, it is the ethnically run fast food joints that get in trouble. Slapped wrist afaict. On occasion, when it is gut churningly bad, they get shut for a week. 

I would think that EH are frightened of being called racist so give them a relatively easy ride. 

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6 minutes ago, man o' the year said:

We had our environmental health inspection last week. I have to say, even though we have nothing to "fear", it doesn't feel like they lack teeth. This inspector was a little more human than some we have had in the past this time and of course everything went well but if you run a food business properly for some reason the process is still a threatening one. She claimed one of our freezers was only at -8 degrees C when it showed -16. She put a second of her thermometers inside which proved it was her first thermometer which was not working properly, despite according to her being calibrated last week. Then you see what is going on in some other places and wonder how the hell they get away with it. There are many places I will not buy from for exactly this reason.

From what you have said MOTY you run a high class hotel near Bath.

I suspect the inspectors work as in my experience the Care Quality Commission inspectors work. If they inspect somewhere decent they start getting really picky but if they go somewhere small /poorly run and / or in financial difficulty they give it a lot of slack when if they were dealing with it in the same basis as a big well run care home / home help service they'd close it on the spot.

They have said off the record that there aren't enough care companies so they want to encourage the small ones and so regulate them to a lower standard.

I remember a curry house in Bristol ?15 years ago was inspected and its kitchens were awful including the bizarre, if memorable, detail that a pair of Y fronts was found in with the carrots.  Even then it wasn't closed.

If you were a scummy curry house they would be complimenting you upon having a working freezer rather than carping about temperature.

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15 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

From what you have said MOTY you run a high class hotel near Bath.

I suspect the inspectors work as in my experience the Care Quality Commission inspectors work. If they inspect somewhere decent they start getting really picky but if they go somewhere small /poorly run and / or in financial difficulty they give it a lot of slack when if they were dealing with it in the same basis as a big well run care home / home help service they'd close it on the spot.

They have said off the record that there aren't enough care companies so they want to encourage the small ones and so regulate them to a lower standard.

I remember a curry house in Bristol ?15 years ago was inspected and its kitchens were awful including the bizarre, if memorable, detail that a pair of Y fronts was found in with the carrots.  Even then it wasn't closed.

If you were a scummy curry house they would be complimenting you upon having a working freezer rather than carping about temperature.

My experience is that they don't like to leave without finding a way to make a recommendation of some sort

It you are scrupulous and well run you could get caught for something really trivial but nevertheless expensive or tricky to fix

Often it's handy in a well run establishment to have something minor in plain sight

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My dad used to be an environmental health officer. A lot of these places used to feign ignorance and claim not to understand. Their English seemed to improve instantly when he told them he was shutting them down.

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Going back to the food chain we have gone from locally sourced fresh produce where everyone knew where it had been grown/raised/killed to anonymous packets from anywhere sourced at the lowest possible price to prop up profits in a failed economy.

Now what could possibly go wrong, mark my words there will be an absolutely massive scandal eventually and it will seriously damage some of big players.

Edited by Chewing Grass
know it knew

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42 minutes ago, Chewing Grass said:

Going back to the food chain we have gone from locally sourced fresh produce where everyone knew where it had been grown/raised/killed to anonymous packets from anywhere sourced at the lowest possible price to prop up profits in a failed economy.

Now what could possibly go wrong, mark my words there will be an absolutely massive scandal eventually and it will seriously damage some of big players.

Already happening in part with the chicken factory, the one providing spoons and then the kfc. Tip of the iceberg though. 

We need to unwind this. 

However, the fields are empty. Anyone else notice?  All the beef and dairy farms round me are shut. Turned into restaurants and holiday lets. 

God only knows where the meat comes from these days. 

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1 minute ago, One percent said:

Already happening in part with the chicken factory, the one providing spoons and then the kfc. Tip of the iceberg though. 

We need to unwind this. 

However, the fields are empty. Anyone else notice?  All the beef and dairy farms round me are shut. Turned into restaurants and holiday lets. 

God only knows where the meat comes from these days. 

Small farms are wildly uneconomic and reliant upon subsidy; huge farms in Argentina and similar are far more efficient and not necessarily worse for the animals.

I'm not a fan of supporting farming on the basis that they preserve a barren close cropped grass scape.  More woodland please.

Supporting farming for other reasons I am fine with.

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26 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Small farms are wildly uneconomic and reliant upon subsidy; huge farms in Argentina and similar are far more efficient and not necessarily worse for the animals.

I'm not a fan of supporting farming on the basis that they preserve a barren close cropped grass scape.  More woodland please.

Supporting farming for other reasons I am fine with.

It is the large farms and landed gentry who gains the most from subsidies 

 

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2 hours ago, mooncat69 said:

My dad used to be an environmental health officer. A lot of these places used to feign ignorance and claim not to understand. Their English seemed to improve instantly when he told them he was shutting them down.

Standard technique used in muzzer takeaways that get visited by the bailiffs in 'Can't Pay We'll Take It Away'. 

It's always run by the guy's brother's cousin's uncle who lives in Turkey but who suddenly turns up on the doorstep once they start taking away the fridge and cooker. 

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1 hour ago, Chewing Grass said:

Going back to the food chain we have gone from locally sourced fresh produce where everyone knew where it had been grown/raised/killed to anonymous packets from anywhere sourced at the lowest possible price to prop up profits in a failed economy.

Now what could possibly go wrong, mark my words there will be an absolutely massive scandal eventually and it will seriously damage some of big players.

And deliberately disigenuous labelling so that you need to understand the use of 'British' or 'Produced in the UK'.

From when bird flu closed down UK turkey production:

1) Turkey eggs were being laid in Britain and hatched into day-old chicks,

2) The day-olds were then transported to eastern Europe to be grown on (cheaper poultry food and labour),

3) The adult birds were then killed in eastern Europe and the whole carcass transferred chilled back to the UK.

4) In the UK the breasts were removed, which allowed a 'produced in the UK' label, (the last processing allows this labelling)

4) Finally, the remainder of the turkey carcass was shipped back chilled to eastern Europe to be turned into turkey sausages where there is a market for them..

The UK shelf price of the product shows the margins and people wonder why it's shit.

 

 

Edited by Hopeful

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2 hours ago, One percent said:

It is the large farms and landed gentry who gains the most from subsidies 

 

Presumably not per acre. I would assume that in general the bigger the farm the bigger the subsidy but the lower per acre subsidy.

I am only guessing; it's not an area of which I know much at all.

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

Presumably not per acre. I would assume that in general the bigger the farm the bigger the subsidy but the lower per acre subsidy.

I am only guessing; it's not an area of which I know much at all.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/01/farm-subsidies-blatant-transfer-of-cash-to-rich

There were two proposals for limiting handouts to the super-rich, known as capping and degressivity. Capping means that no one should receive more than a certain amount: the proposed limit was €300,000 (£250,000) a year. Degressivity means that beyond a certain point the rate received per hectare begins to fall. This was supposed to have kicked in at €150,000. The UK's environment secretary, Owen Paterson, knocked both proposals down.

 

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/eu-farming-subsidies-billionaires-high-uk-rich-list-recipients-brexit-james-dyson-earl-rosebery-cap-a7815871.html

One in five of the biggest recipients of European farming subsidies in Britain are billionaires and millionaires on the Sunday Times Rich List, research suggests.

Rankings by Greenpeace of the 100 companies and landowners receiving the biggest basic payments under the Common Agricultural Policy shows 20 of them are wealthy enough to feature on the Rich List, up from 16 the year before.

New entrants on the environmental charity's top 100 subsidy recipients this year included the Earl of Rosebery, the Duke of Buccleuch and Earl Bathurst.

The Highland Wagyu beef farm owned by Mohsin Al-Tajir, the son of a billionaire former UAE ambassador to the UK, whose cattle are pampered in "zen-like" buildings, and whose luxury beef is used by Michelin star chefs, is also now in the top 100.

 

https://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/politics/2012/09/revealed-how-we-pay-our-richest-landowners-millions-subsidies

The average British household contributes £245 a year to the CAP, most of which, a New Statesmaninvestigation has found, is handed to the wealthiest landowners. Originally established with the intention of supporting small farmers and reducing Europe’s reliance on food imports, the CAP, which accounts for 43 per cent (€55bn) of the EU budget, has become a slush fund for assorted dukes, earls and princes.

A freedom of information request by the NS to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs found that claimants last year included the Duke of Westminster (net worth: £7.4bn), who was paid £748,716 for his ownership of Grosvenor Farms, the Duke of Buccleuch (£180m), who received £260,273, the Duke of Devonshire (£700m), who received £251,729, and the Duke of Atholl, who was paid £231,188 for his 145,000 acre Blair Castle Estate.

 

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6 hours ago, man o' the year said:

We had our environmental health inspection last week. I have to say, even though we have nothing to "fear", it doesn't feel like they lack teeth. This inspector was a little more human than some we have had in the past this time and of course everything went well but if you run a food business properly for some reason the process is still a threatening one. She claimed one of our freezers was only at -8 degrees C when it showed -16. She put a second of her thermometers inside which proved it was her first thermometer which was not working properly, despite according to her being calibrated last week. Then you see what is going on in some other places and wonder how the hell they get away with it. There are many places I will not buy from for exactly this reason.

To be fair she acknowledged the fault

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7 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

The penalties are pathetic so there is little concern about breach on behalf of the management; nobody's head is on the line.

There was a series called Health Inspectors and they found things in restaurant kitchens they would make you puke if you saw them just after editing there.  Things like rotting meat dripping onto the veg.

The immediate penalty would be something like "throw it away" followed by a notification of a repeat visit and a tick two weeks later.

That the inspection regime lacks teeth is somewhat of an understatement and yes I agree that it will take scores of deaths before it gets seriously ramped up.

as a former EHO I can advise:

A prosecution can easily take up 3 months full time equivalent 

At the same time the EHO often has a high level  manager completely driven by inspection stats. I get stitched up in a redundancy because I actively defended (as a mid level manager) a couple of my staff who were working on major prosecution cases from a bean counter who wasn't dsatisfied that their inspection rate had fallen. This same cnut harassed another member of staff that was investigating a fatality. 

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6 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

From what you have said MOTY you run a high class hotel near Bath.

I suspect the inspectors work as in my experience the Care Quality Commission inspectors work. If they inspect somewhere decent they start getting really picky but if they go somewhere small /poorly run and / or in financial difficulty they give it a lot of slack when if they were dealing with it in the same basis as a big well run care home / home help service they'd close it on the spot.

They have said off the record that there aren't enough care companies so they want to encourage the small ones and so regulate them to a lower standard.

I remember a curry house in Bristol ?15 years ago was inspected and its kitchens were awful including the bizarre, if memorable, detail that a pair of Y fronts was found in with the carrots.  Even then it wasn't closed.

If you were a scummy curry house they would be complimenting you upon having a working freezer rather than carping about temperature.

Every curry house that I or a immediate colleagues have been involved in prosecutions / improvement  / prohibtion notices has resulted in an accusation of racism. This adds more burden to the EHO in terms of defending themselves from the Council's 'Equalities Executive' who presumes guilt until proven innocent. 

I even had a letter from the Rt Honourable Cnut Tony Bliar 

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