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AM GIVES HEALTH WARNING TO LOCAL FOOD INDUSTRY

February 15, 2012 11:30 AM

William Powell, Lib Dem Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales has warned businesses involved in the preparation of food* to take special care to ensure that they are working from the most recent set of hygiene guidelines. This follows a number of incidents across Wales where businesses have been caught out by the rapidly changing regulations introduced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Mr Powell said "The problem is that the FSA has been updating and changing these regulations at quite a pace. For example one set was issued in 2009-10 only for them to be superseded by another in 2010-11. Communications of these changes has been a bit hit and miss in some cases. This has resulted in the downgrading of some businesses who continued to work from the previous regulations.

"It's not as if these businesses are downgraded on cleanliness grounds. Usually it is because they have not been working to specification on kitchen layout etc. set out as good practice in the new regulations.

Welshpool

"Mellington Hall near Welshpool was a good example of this where the quality of the food remained excellent yet they were marked down on layout and had a hard struggle to get back to a '5' rating.

"In a tourist area like ours this kind of event could prove fatal to a business especially in the current tough economic environment. I'm urging businesses to double check that they are working to the latest FSA guidelines. I will also be contacting local councils* throughout our area to urge them to review the way they publicise this key function."

* including Cafes, restauants, schools, nursing homes etc

** Councils in Wales have the duty of inspecting businesses.