Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)


Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)


Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS KNIGHT Reporter

GREASE-STAINED walls and worktops, and a piece of recycled wood used to handle raw meat.

This was the disgusting scene which greeted health inspectors inside a Bensham butcher.

The owner of Adam's Continental Foods on Coatsworth Road, Gateshead, has been slapped with fines totalling almost PS10,000 for breaching food hygiene, and health and safety standards.

Gateshead Council's investigation into the shop was already under way when a viral video of a cigarettesmoking employee allegedly chopping a chicken in a dirty backstreet was viewed more than 130,000 times.

In a routine visit to the grocery shop on May 22 last year, environmental health officers found cleanliness standards poor throughout the butchery department.

A piece of wood recycled from a packing crate was found to be used as a utensil to push raw meat through to the mincing head.

A 47kg gas bottle with a rubber pipe running through a wall was pinched by a chest freezer, prompting officers to prohibit the use of the installation.

Officers also banned the use of an unguarded butchery bandsaw after a follow-up visit.

The environmental health officer's opinion outlined conditions were significantly below the standard expected in relation to food safety, as well as their duties as an employer under health and safety requirements and formal action was required to prevent imminent risk.

During the course of the investigation, the video of the employee chopping meat in the back lane emerged.

Investigating officers learned the meat was in fact chicken carcasses, and the member of staff was making them smaller so they could fit more into a bin.

Health inspectors were satisfied the meat was not intended for the food chain, and the environmental enforcement team were satisfied sufficient waste disposal arrangements were in place. …

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