So, You’ve Been Tolerating Dodgy Businesses For Years?

Safety officials in York have criticised plans to make local businesses pay for poor inspections, saying charges would damage the city’s economic recovery.

Really? By putting unhygienic and unsafe takeaways and shops out of business?

Isn’t that what we want?

The Government is looking to change the law, so the Health and Safety Executive can recoup costs from businesses that seriously breach standards, and local councils are being asked if they too want to be able to charge.

So, why aren’t they jumping at the chance? I mean, this is a dream come true, isn’t it? Another way to charge us all (because who thinks the businesses won’t put up prices to cover the cost? Anyone?) for their oh-so-essential services?

But City of York Council is set to oppose the idea, saying penalising small businesses could damage York’s prosperity.

But it’s only going to be those that ‘seriously breach standards’, isn’t it? Just how many cockroach-infested, gas-cylinder-using takeaways does York have?!?

In a written report, the council’s food and safety unit manager, Sean Suckling, said most inspections of local businesses identified breaches, and said if the council followed Government charging guidelines, businesses could be made to pay £500 for a four-hour inspection.

Well, there are breaches, and then there are breaches. The sort of thing identified above, for instance.

But what I read from Mr Suckling’s objection is that either the government is lying and it’s not just going to be serious breaches, or possibly that York is a bad place to have a curry…

11 comments for “So, You’ve Been Tolerating Dodgy Businesses For Years?

  1. September 22, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Brings to mind the state of many French kitchens and some have said it enhances the flavour.

  2. Robert Edwards
    September 22, 2011 at 8:36 am

    The Japanese have a fine saying: “No good food ever came out of a clean kitchen…”

    I once lost my way in my local Bengali Curry House and ended up in the kitchen. I had been looking for the bog. Spot the difference! It was a scene from Dante, but still, I maintain, it produced the best Chicken Jalfrezi in London W8.

    • September 23, 2011 at 5:28 am

      “What the eye doesn’t see, the stomach doesn’t heave over…” 😆

  3. Tattyfalarr
    September 22, 2011 at 9:34 am

    Most people use their own eyes when deciding whether to eat outside of their own homes, most people know the effects of a bad case of food poisoning and will risk it anyway and of course, some people don’t care how it’s cooked so long as they don’t have to do it themselves.

    A one-size fits-all solution would be to to stick a sign up outside all eating establishments stating “Eat At Own Risk”….job done.

    How hard can it be, really ? 🙄

    • Macheath
      September 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

      The sign’s a great idea; I’m wondering if the wording could be drawn up along the lines of this delightfully ambiguous BBC news story from last year:

      ‘A judge fined a Devon restaurant owner £17,500 for food hygiene offences and said only rats and mice were safe to eat there’.

  4. Jim
    September 22, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I think the council is (for once) actually being honest and fair as to what would happen under the new proposed regime. As the spokesman pointed out, most inspections uncover at least minor breaches of rules, so it would come down to what constituted ‘serious’ breaches. Do you honestly think that councils up and down the land would baulk at the chance of recouping £500 per visit if they just declared that whatever breaches were found constituted a serious breach of hygiene rules?

    All I can see happening is that hygiene inspections would suddenly cost £500 for 90% of premises.

    • September 23, 2011 at 5:29 am

      Indeed. Making you wonder just how worthwhile everyone would see those inspections as?

  5. September 22, 2011 at 9:44 am

    See this is what we actually pay our council tax for. Not for diversity councillors, outreach workers, youth engagement teams.Borough Wellness Advisers

    I suggest they cut those, then they will be able to afford the checks.

    Oh and fix the bloody potholes

    • September 23, 2011 at 5:29 am

      Amen! Especially the potholes!

  6. monoi
    September 22, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Better yet, why not have the council, but also other, private agencies, competing and have businesses choosing which agency’s standards they would rather follow.

    I would also make it optional for businesses to be assessed.

    The relevant standards, desired by the public would be quickly found out by businesses and agencies.

    It would not take long for the public to make their mind as to where they prefer to go.

    • September 23, 2011 at 6:20 am

      I like that idea. Kind of like lots of trade associations – you don’t have to use them but you’re much more likely to get what you expect if you do.

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