At the meeting of Luton Council on 19th July Liberal Democrat councillors tried to force a review of a vital service plan which will define the way the Council inspects food premises across the town for the next 12 months. But their proposed amendments were rejected by the Labour run Council and what Liberal Democrats described as an unsafe plan was approved by the Labour majority.
“I am sure most food establishments operate to very high standards of hygiene and produce & sell perfectly safe high quality food to satisfied customers,” says Liberal Democrat leader David Franks. “Sadly not all achieve the required standards.”
“Just look around the town, you cannot avoid seeing the explosion in numbers of fast food shops and it’s the Council’s job to make sure they all live up to the high standards of the best. Yet this service plan says fewer food premises are to be inspected.”
“Horrible, food hygiene related health problems like e-coli are on the increase. People die of e-coli. Yet Luton’s Labour Council plans to cut back on food premises inspections at a time when risks are increasing and the numbers of fast food outlets is rapidly increasing.”
“Labour members should be ashamed of themselves for approving a so called ‘service plan’ which actually states the Council will not meet its statutory obligations.”
“The service plan says 30% of medium high risk food businesses due a hygiene intervention will not get one. 414 food premises are due an inspection so 124 of them will not be inspected.”
“The service plan even says the Food Standards Agency insists microbiological examination & analysis of food, including inspection for and identification of insects, is a priority enforcement tool. The so called Service Plan also says there will be a 30% reduction in microbiological examinations & analysis.”
“The Labour Council has the bare faced cheek to actually force through Council a Food Law Enforcement Service Plan which puts Luton residents at greater risk of serious food related illness and states perfectly clearly the Council will not even meet its statutory obligations.”