January 22, 2014 3.50 pm This story is over 101 months old

Lincoln council ranked highly for food safety checks

Food hygiene: Food safety in Lincoln has been ranked highly in an investigation carried out by product testing charity Which?

Food safety in Lincoln has been ranked highly in an investigation carried out by product testing charity ‘Which?’

The City of Lincoln Council is ranked 15th out of 395 local authorities in the UK for how effective it performs its checks food hygiene standards on businesses across the city.

The closest neighbouring authority, North Kesteven District Council is in 89th place.

The result was after an assessment on three criteria: the percentage of premises ranked as high or medium risk in a local authority that were broadly compliant with a food hygiene requirements; the percentage of premises yet to receive a risk rating and the proportion of inspections and other follow ups that were required but not carried out by local authority inspectors.

Sara Boothright, Food, Health and Safety Manager at the city council, said: “It’s important that our residents and visitors who use food businesses in the city know that those premises have been properly inspected and, if they’re not up to scratch, that we are dealing with them. This result clearly demonstrates that we’ve got our approach right.”

Councillor Fay Smith, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services and Public Protection, said: “It’s excellent and reassuring for the people of Lincoln that our team work so hard to ensure the public is safe.”

In recent news, the City of Lincoln Council took legal action after a customer of a local bakers and butchers found a screw in a bread bap, also charging the business with failure to safely maintain food equipment.

Which? found Bexley in London was the poorest performing local authority, with five other London councils in our bottom 10 (Ealing, Enfield, Harrow, Richmond upon Thames and Southwark).

Cherwell District Council in North Oxfordshire was rated as the best performing local authority.

Food Standards Agency (FSA) data also shows that overall food testing fell by 6.8% from the previous year, continuing a decline, and testing for labelling and presentation fell by 16.2%.

Which? Executive Director, Richard Lloyd, said: “No one wants another horsemeat fiasco, so it is very worrying that local authority food checks are in decline.  We want to see a more strategic approach to food law enforcement that makes the best use of limited resources and responds effectively to the huge challenges facing the food supply chain.”