17 York food outlets prosecuted for hygiene offences

York Magistrates' Court. Photograph: YorkMix

Legal action was taken against 17 York businesses for poor food hygiene last year.

A further six were issued with a hygiene improvement notice, and a total of 763 were sent written warnings.

City of York Council carries out hygiene inspections, investigates complaints, offers advice and support to restaurants and samples food as part of its food service plan to keep residents and visitors safe.

Two-thirds of the city’s food businesses had the highest ranking – five – in April according to a council report.

But the high number of restaurants and cafes opening and closing in York “places strain” on the team as it means more places need inspecting.

The report says:

  • Studies show that food and drink is the largest area of spend for tourists.

    The number of food premises fluctuates year on year, but is typically around the 2,000 mark.

    As can be seen, the profile of food premises in York is heavily biased towards restaurants and caterers, which is a reflection of the city’s status as a major tourist destination.

    We continue to see a high turnover of business ownership in this sector. This ‘business churn’ places a strain on the team’s resources due to the subsequent inspection of these new premises.

It adds that there were 107 complaints about the safety of food in the past year and 97 about the hygiene of premises.

And that this is a fairly consistent number of complaints “reflecting how busy the food sector is in York and the high awareness of food issues amongst our customers”.

The report was noted at a meeting for the executive member for environment on October 7.