Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Kosher Kock-Up

London, UK

Loved this article from the latest edition of the JC:

Kosher restaurants fail food-safety test

Barry Toberman

Many kosher restaurants, delis and bakeries visited by local-authority inspectors are receiving “very poor” and “poor” ratings for food safety.

A JC investigation of 59 establishments assessed over the last two years found that 30 received either zero- or one-star ratings. Just two were graded five-star and another two four-star.

The ratings are based on a national Food Standards Agency system. A no-star grading suggests “little or no appreciation of food-safety legislation”. One star equates to “a poor level of compliance”.

Kashrut representatives variously expressed surprise and disappointment at the findings, but maintained that hygiene standards were high within the kosher market. However, licensees were not required to inform them of the results of council food safety inspections.

A United Synagogue spokesperson told the JC on Monday: “We take the matter of health and safety very seriously. All of our [London Beth Din] licensees are inspected by a qualified environmental-health and hygiene consultant and meet appropriate standards. We request written confirmation of this at the annual licensing session and the licence will not be renewed without it.” In addition, its shomrim had to pass a food hygiene course.

Although premises are asked to display the ratings certificate following a local-authority inspection, there is no legal obligation. Councils and consumer groups suggest that where none is on show, concerned customers should ask to view the certificate.

Only 50 % with zero or "one" rating, come on Jewish Chronicle, name and shame!

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