One in three restaurants in Norfolk have been warned over poor food hygiene

PUBLISHED: 12:45 28 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:53 28 September 2018

Behind the scenes with Norwich food hygiene inspectors Penny Coult and Zoe Noble. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Behind the scenes with Norwich food hygiene inspectors Penny Coult and Zoe Noble. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Almost half of restaurants in Norwich have been warned over unacceptable food hygiene, figures show, and one in three eateries around the county as a whole.

MORE: Food hygiene standards across UK called ‘postcode lottery’, but how does Norfolk compare?

Data from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has shed light on the results of food hygiene interventions in each local authority, for the year up to April.

Of the 10,855 businesses inspected in Norfolk - the majority of which are restaurants, but include other businesses which handle unpacked food - 3,484 were given written warnings, 32pc.

Any breach of food hygiene regulations can lead to a written warning - including problems with cleanliness, training of staff, record keeping, washing facilities and separation of cooked and raw foods.

The proportion of restaurants warned varies around districts - in Norwich, 45pc of businesses received a warning, compared to 17pc in north Norfolk.

In Waveney and south Norfolk 32pc were warned, compared to 29pc in west Norfolk and Breckland and 40pc in Great Yarmouth.

Around the county, five businesses voluntarily closed their doors over poor hygiene standards, two were issued cautions and there was one successful court prosecution.

MORE: Paperwork to mouldy food - are food hygiene ratings fair on restaurants?

And 45 food hygiene notices were handed out, given where there are serious food safety problems. Restaurants can be banned from using certain equipment or processes until improvements have been made.

Behind the scenes with Norwich food hygiene inspectors Penny Coult and Zoe Noble. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.Behind the scenes with Norwich food hygiene inspectors Penny Coult and Zoe Noble. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Nina Purcell, director of Regulatory Delivery at the FSA, said: “It’s encouraging that local authorities have made improvements in the percentage of interventions achieved and are continuing to target their activities at food businesses where food safety risks are the highest or where food fraud is more likely.”

In total there were more than 150,000 written warnings handed out in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2017/18, and 267 successful prosecutions.

An FSA spokeswoman encouraged people who see bad food hygiene to report it to the council.

In a statement, she said: “You can report poor hygiene practices in a restaurant, store or other food outlet to the business’s local authority by clicking here.”

MORE: Norwich hot dog stand owner slapped with zero food hygiene rating

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