Southend catering business briefly closed for unhygienic practice

Published Tuesday, 10th October 2017

741 London Road shop front

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Environmental Health Officers forced the emergency closure of an unregistered catering business that was at risk of spreading dangerous bacteria due to no hot water.

The officers carried out an unannounced visit to CLD Essex Limited on 741 London Road on 4 October, having received reports from neighbours that the premises were being used as an unregistered food business.

When they arrived, officers found the premises to be lacking hot water, hand-washing facilities and having inadequate facilities for cleaning and disinfecting work tools and equipment.

On 6th October 2017, Rochford and Southend magistrates confirmed the enforcement action taken by the Environmental Health Officers in closing the premises at 741 London Road and issued a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order and CLD Essex Ltd was ordered to pay £650 costs. The business owner subsequently surrendered all food at the premises and paid for it to be destroyed.

Over the weekend, the business has carried out substantial improvements to its premises, including the installation of a running hot water supply and hand basins and the purchase of disinfectant supplies. The property was re-inspected by officers yesterday (Monday 10 October) and allowed to re-open after they were found to have removed the health risk. Measures have been taken for the business to be duly registered, which means it will now be subject to a regular regime of inspections so that Environmental Health Officers can ensure it is operating to the required food-hygiene standards.

Cllr Tony Cox, Executive Councillor for Public Protection, Waste and Regulatory Services, said: “Food hygiene standards are there for a very good reason – they protect the public from serious and entirely avoidable harm. That’s why I welcome this enforcement action by our officers.

“The lack of hot water at the premises meant that staff couldn’t effectively wash food equipment or their hands, so bacteria from handling raw meat or going to the toilet could have contaminated other foods, such as breads, cheese cakes and sauces that were also being prepared at the premises.

“These bacteria include salmonella and E-coli, which can have very serious consequences for anyone who ingests them.

“Our swift and decisive action has protected the public and ensured that necessary improvements were quickly acted upon so that the business could operate safely.

“I’d like to thank the members of the public who reported their concerns to us as well as our officers for their professional action in this case.”