Saturday, 18 September 2021

Restaurateur fined for serving undercooked food

Restaurateur fined for serving undercooked food

A RESTAURATEUR has been ordered to pay almost £10,000 after serving undercooked food.

Stephen Luscombe, who runs the Golden Ball in Lower Assendon, admitted serving undercooked calves’ liver in 2015.

Two diners suffered food poisoning and others suffered symptoms after eating a dish containing the meat at the restaurant.

Luscombe admitted two food safety charges at Oxford Magistrates Court yesterday (Thursday).

He was fined £4,434, ordered to pay £5,284 costs and a victim surcharge of £120. 

Luscombe admitted serving food on the premises that was unsafe as it had been inadequately cooked and failing to implement and maintain legally required food safety procedures, including those for the safe cooking of high-risk foods. 

Magistrates heard South Oxfordshire District Council, the environmental health authority, was asked to investigate after a member of the public suffered campylobacter food poisoning after eating at the restaurant.

Environmental health officers carried out an immediate unannounced inspection and found that the diners had been offered a set menu including calves’ liver for the main course.

They found the calves’ liver had been cooked at too low a temperature.

The restaurant was found to have no protocol to ensure high-risk items, such as liver, were cooked according to recommendations from the Food Standards Agency.

It also failed to complete required monitoring records for almost three months, meaning it was failing to meet its legal requirements for food safety. 

After the inspection, the restaurant was given a food hygiene rating of one out of five. 

It has since been re-inspected and now has a five out of five rating.

Diane Moore, food and safety manager at the district council, said: “This case demonstrates how important it is for businesses to follow food hygiene rules and make sure food is safe to eat.

“Liver is a well-publicised potential source of campylobacter food poisoning, which in some cases can be fatal. 

“It is essential that high-risk products like this are thoroughly cooked. 

“In this case, the liver had been cooked to too low a temperature with no regard given to very clear warnings from the Food Standards Agency. 

“We take food safety very seriously and while we’ll always work with food businesses to secure good standards, whenever there are serious breaches of food hygiene rules then legal action will always be considered.” 

For the full story, see next week’s Henley Standard.

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