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Kosher butcher's confusion over shop's hygiene label

The rating shown on the window was not the same as the rating given last October

    A kosher butcher has claimed that it has a high food hygiene rating, despite receiving the second lowest ranking after an inspection last October.

    According to the official sticker placed in its window, Menachems kosher butcher and deli, in Golders Green, North West London, was awarded a four out of five, or “good” rating.

    In fact, after a visit from a Food Standards Agency safety officer almost three months ago, the store was handed a rating of just one out of five, denoting that “major improvement” was needed.

    The four out of five sticker was still in the shop’s window on Monday afternoon.

    According to the safety officer, the “cleanliness and condition of facilities and building” were found to be “generally satisfactory”.

    But “major improvement” was required in its “management of food safety”, a category which covers the shop’s “checks” to ensure its products are safe to eat.

    The category also includes “evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future”.

    Improvement was also necessary with regards to “hygienic food handling”, an area that includes “preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage” of products.

    John Alexander, the manager of the store, told the JC: “I don’t know why the one [the sticker] is still on the window, to be honest with you. I’m just about to take that off as we speak.

    “We had the inspection, and we’re due for a follow-up any time now, which is basically to change that rating.

    “The problem is with these ratings, a lot of the time it’s just to do with paperwork, it’s not necessarily about the cleanliness of the shop. It’s everything combined.

    “A lot of it is to do with paperwork, which we’ve been dealing with, and we’re due to have a visit within the next week or so from the environmental office to re-evaluate what our rating is going to be.”

    Businesses in England are not required to display their hygiene rating.

     

     

    The Food Standards Agency, which runs the food hygiene rating scheme, says in its guidance that “putting a hygiene rating on show is a good advertisement for businesses that meet the requirements of food hygiene law.

    “A good food hygiene rating is good for business.”

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