February 25, 2019 5.20 pm This story is over 62 months old

Butchers’ appeal of low hygiene rating refused

City council inspectors rated it 1/5 for hygiene

A local butchers will re-appeal its latest food hygiene rating after its Lincoln branch was recently awarded a score of one out of five by city council inspectors.

G Simpson Butchers Ltd on Wolsey Way in Lincoln was surprised to see its rating fall from 5 to 1 after an inspection on January 16, 2019.

An initial appeal was lodged, but this has been upheld by the City of Lincoln Council.

Inspectors from the city council rated the hygienic food handling as ‘improvement necessary,’ but the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building were scored ‘very good’.

However, it was deemed that there was ‘major improvement necessary’ in the management of food safety.

The company’s HQ store is located in Heckington, which was given the highest possible rating of 5 in December 2018. The Stamford branch was last inspected in March 2017 and also given a score of 5.

Confident of successful revisit

The company is confident the Lincoln store will soon get its score back up to a five after a meeting with the inspector and deputy head of food hygiene scheduled for later this week.

A spokesperson for G Simpson Butchers Ltd told The Lincolnite that in addition to this week’s meeting, inspectors should also be carrying out a revisit over the next six weeks.

They said they are still going to appeal the latest score and are going through the process with it.

The spokesperson acknowledged that there was a human error which has been dealt with in house.

The company said North Kesteven District Council and councils in South Holland and Rutland have been happy with the paperwork at their other stores, with the same policies and plans in place at all six, including Lincoln.

Training records were also held at head office at the Heckington HQ so they believe everything is up-to-date and staff will also be put on a higher level food hygiene course in the near future.

Council’s inspection discovery

Photo: Food Standards Agency

Environmental Health & Corporate Safety Manager at the City of Lincoln Council, Sara Boothright, said: “Our food safety officer visited G Simpson Butchers to carry out a food safety inspection on 14 January and found that the food safety and confidence in management of the business at that time reflected a one star rating.

“During our visit, the officer found evidence of major non-compliance in the requirements for safe food. For example, food was on display for sale that was six days past its use by date. It is the law that food must not be on display for sale past its use by date and the business’ food safety procedures state that staff will check food daily, but our discovery led us to conclude that the dates had not been checked for at least six days.

“Other poor food safety practices were found, relating to the storage of food and stock rotation, and there was lack of training and supervision of staff at the shop which contributed to the overall confidence in management score.

“The business later put in an appeal, but we can confirm that the decision to award a one star rating has been upheld.

“We are working with G Simpson Butchers to help them achieve a better rating in the future.”

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