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Butcher given zero food hygiene rating after fridges turned off overnight and jars left open

PUBLISHED: 06:52 20 August 2019 | UPDATED: 10:44 20 August 2019

The store is closed with milk, drinks and olives in chillers. Picture: Archant

The store is closed with milk, drinks and olives in chillers. Picture: Archant

Archant

A local butcher has been handed a zero hygiene rating after meat was being kept in switched-off chillers overnight and opened food jars were for sale.

Lowestoft Butchers was slapped with a zero hygiene rating. Picture: ArchantLowestoft Butchers was slapped with a zero hygiene rating. Picture: Archant

The Lowestoft Butchers, on London Road South in Lowestoft was slapped with a zero rating and found to be operating without registration as a food business during an inspection by East Suffolk Council officers on June 19.

The inspector said they were "very concerned" there is "no effective food safety management system in place" and that controls and monitoring required at points which are critical to food safety were missing.

According to the report, salami was being stored in a chiller at a temperature of 18.8 degrees, when it is required to be kept at a temperature less than eight degrees.

"I noted from our discussion that you are turning off the chiller units if the overnight temperature was expected to be cold.

Lowestoft Butchers was not a registered food business. Picture: ArchantLowestoft Butchers was not a registered food business. Picture: Archant

"This presents a risk to public health and action is required to remedy this immediately.

"The units should be turned on at all times and a working thermometer in the chiller unit should limit the operation of the cooling system when it is required," the inspector wrote.

A jar of pickled garlic was found on display and for sale with the safety seal broken, it also appeared to be partially full.

"Once the safety seal is broken, then the hermetically sealed nature of the packaging is compromised and bacteria can enter and grow to levels which could cause illness," the inspector said.

Lowestoft Butchers, on London Road South, Lowestoft. Picture: ArchantLowestoft Butchers, on London Road South, Lowestoft. Picture: Archant

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Other worrying findings detailed there was no hand wash basin, no hot water and sanitizer as well as a lack of cleaning and disinfecting of food areas.

The inspector also raised concerns about a lack of pest control in the butcher and the fact staff has not been formally trained.

At time of publication, the store was closed with processed meat for dogs, olives and milk being stored in chillers. A hand-written sign on the front door of the business said they had closed, but would be reopening soon. The store owner was warned to register as a food business by July 1 or they could be prosecuted.

A neighbour said she believed the store had only been open three weeks before closing.

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