Council officials tackle potentially dangerous foods
Date published: 26 February 2018
A scene from the Siam Orchid establishment
Oldham Council is committed to ensuring businesses do not serve foods that are potentially dangerous to people with allergies.
It is also important all premises in the borough comply with food hygiene laws and that what they claim to be selling is as described on the label, menu or packet..
As the safety of residents is a priority, the council's Environmental Health officers regularly carry out inspections – to check standards are being maintained – and test purchases from premises so the public are protected.
The majority of Oldham food premises are clean and sell food that is safe to eat.
Unfortunately, when officials carry out these unannounced visits and buys they sometimes find issues that require further action to be taken.
On February 22 at Tameside Magistrates’ Court, the council prosecuted a number of businesses for offences for selling food that posed a potential health risk or was not as described.
A food hygiene inspection was carried out at Siam Orchid, Middleton Road, Royton, Oldham, on January 25, 2017, which revealed a number of food hygiene offences, including an uncontrolled rat infestation, poor cleaning and poorly maintained equipment.
On the April 19, 2017, officers returned and ordered a nut free Thai Chicken Noodle dish.
The food was sent for formal analysis to the public analyst laboratory.
The results came back as unsatisfactory due to the presence of peanut protein 14 mg/kg – meaning the food could have been a serious health risk to someone with a nut allergy
The business, which is run by Siam Middleton Ltd, was fined £1,900 with a victim surcharge and costs of £1,650 after admitting four offences under The Food Safety Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, Regulation 19 and two offences under The Food Safety Act 1990.
A similar offence was discovered when officers rang Shalimar, Ashton Road, Oldham and ordered a nut-free chicken tikka masala on April 20, 2017.
The curry was sent for analysis and was found to contain 20mg/kg of peanut protein – meaning it was to eat unsafe for a person allergic to peanuts.
Former owner Mohammed Amzud Ali Salik, of Werneth Hall Road, Oldham, was prosecuted under the Food Safety Act 1990, Section 14 (1) and was fined £175 with a £30 victim surcharge and costs of £1,180.
Totties (Oldham) Limited, Trading as Totties Market Hall, Albion Street, Oldham, has been fined £700 with a £70 victim surcharge and costs of £1,815 costs after admitting an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990 Section 15 (1a and b) - falsely describing or presenting food.
A sample of minced lamb was purchased on April 19, 2017 and sent for analysis. It was found to contain 20-per-cent cow DNA and 5-per-cent pig DNA.
On the same day a takeaway was prosecuted for selling food from premises that were below expected standards.
A routine food hygiene inspection at The Godfather Fried Chicken and Pizza Ltd, Union Street, Oldham on April 18, 2017, found evidence of mice throughout the premises, including on surfaces, and the hand wash basin was upside down and hanging from the wall.
The chopping boards were dirty and worn.
There was also evidence of rats in the rear yard and staff wore no protective clothing.
The premises were immediately closed and allowed to reopen after a further visit confirmed it had been cleaned and pest control had visited.
However, a further revisit on June 13 revealed mouse droppings again throughout.
The owners were told to clean up and regular inspections have been carried out since.
The owners, trading as Godfather Fried Chicken and Pizza Ltd, were fined £2,800 with a victim surcharge of £140 and costs of £1,375 of admitting 11 offences under The Food Safety Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, Regulation 19.
Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “Oldham Council is committed to dealing with serious lapses in food hygiene, especially where the safety of residents is put at risk.
“We will not hesitate to take action.
“Business owners who run food establishments must comply with food hygiene laws or be prepared to face the consequences.”
All food businesses inspected by the council are given a rating based on their compliance with the legal requirements for hygiene, structural condition and confidence in the management.
Following a food hygiene inspection a business is rated from five for a very good through to zero for those premises that need to improve urgently.
It is voluntary for the businesses to display the rating but gives the consumer an indication of its overall level of food hygiene compliance.
All Oldham food business ratings are on the Food Standards Agency website: http://ratings.food.gov.uk/QuickSearch.aspx