Banqueting hall banned from serving people with food allergies
A new food business in Telford has been banned from serving anyone who has a known food allergy.
Excellency Midlands Ltd., which runs a banqueting hall in Stafford Park had not registered with Telford & Wrekin Council’s Environmental Health team and been trading for approximately six weeks. It was visited by Telford & Wrekin Council Environmental Health Officers on Thursday 1st August. At the time of the officers’ visit there was food being prepared for a wedding reception that night for approx. 400 people.
Officers found there were no systems in place to manage cross contamination between food items, resulting in them issuing Excellency Midlands Ltd with a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice preventing the business from serving food to customers with known food allergies.
Yesterday (Tuesday 6 August 2019), a District Judge sitting at Telford Justice Centre served a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order against Excellency Midlands Ltd.
The court heard the storage of allergenic ingredients was poor, such as bags of wheat flour, one of which was seen to have been ripped resulting in flour on the kitchen floor.
The court was also told staff knew nothing about allergens as required by law, there was no appreciation of the management of cross-contamination and no regard was given to the risks posed. There was also no system in place for informing customers of allergens contained in the food being served.
In applying for the Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order, Telford & Wrekin Council said it was not to stop the business from trading, but to prevent it from serving anyone who declares a food allergy.
The order, granted yesterday, will stay in force until the business has taken sufficient measures to address the issues and are able to provide food to customers who disclose an allergy without putting them at risk. The company was also ordered to pay £670 costs.
Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said: “Our officers take the management of allergen containing foods by food businesses very seriously, as getting it wrong can lead to potential deaths. Food Businesses should be able to tell customers with known food allergies what food they can safely eat from their premises and should have procedures in place to manage the risk of cross contamination. Anyone who is concerned about food allergies and the law that governs them can find more information by visiting the Council’s website.”