plus: BROMLEY WARN AGAINST WASHING RAW CHICKEN…WORLD CUP: RED CARDS FROM CROYDON…FOOTBALL FANS WARNED TO BE CAREFUL ON THE MORNING AFTER THE MATCH BEFORE
CROYDON FOOD SAFETY OFFICERS TAKE ACTION OVER VAN LOAD OF ILLEGALLY SLAUGHTERED MEAT
A van-load of meat was ordered to be destroyed after Croydon council food safety officers found that it had been illegally slaughtered and was destined for sale to the public.
In addition to the meat’s destruction, Croydon magistrates awarded Croydon costs of £2,350.60 – to be paid by the van’s driver.
Food safety officers were called to Croydon police station on 25 April after police had stopped the van and found a large consignment of raw meat, in insanitary conditions, in the unrefrigerated load area.
The council’s team identified the meat as “smokies” – illegally slaughtered and butchered meat that has not undergone an official inspection process, and is usually sold on the black market for human consumption.
The cuts of meat are called smokies because the flesh and fur are left on and then scorched, giving a smoky appearance and aroma.
The court heard that the van was very dirty and smelly, the floor covered in blood-soaked flattened cardboard boxes, and the smokies were found in five bin liner bags.
Also in the van were five large buckets containing blood residue, one also containing cuts of liver.
The meat bore no health nor origin markings, the bags were not labelled and there was no documentation in the van relating to the meat.
A Food Standards Agency meat hygiene inspector identified several pieces of meat containing vertebrae which had been split, and in which the spinal cord was still in place; a piece of material which had the appearance of being from the spleen; and other pieces with wool still attached. All are classed Specified Risk Material in sheep carcasses over 12 months of age, and are fit for neither human nor animal consumption.
It was deemed that the meat had not been subject to the provisions of the regulations applied in slaughterhouses and cutting plants to protect human health. The meat had been illegally produced and should not be eaten.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “This is a great result for the council’s food safety team.
“Working with the police, they were able to quickly identify meat that, despite being unfit for human consumption, could very probably have ended up on the plates of unsuspecting people, putting their health and safety at risk.
“The court costs levied in this case send out the message that Croydon is not the place to try to sell goods that fail to meet the necessary health and safety standards.”
NOTE: The requirement for meat requiring inspection and to be health marked is made under (EC) 853/2004. The removal of the skin provides for full meat inspection. Where the skin is not removed, meat inspection cannot determine significant pathologies such as septicaemia or jaundice, bruising or abnormal colours, which may be indicative of systemic pathologies or disease.
Smokies do not undergo any of these processes and cannot be guaranteed safe for human consumption. (Source: Croydon council press release)
….AS BROMLEY WARN AGAINST WASHING RAW CHICKEN
Bromley council’s food safety team are working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to raise awareness of a little known risk during Food Safety Week 16-22 June: ‘Don’t wash raw chicken.’
The team aims to reduce the number of people getting ill by raising awareness of the food bacteria ‘Campylobacter’, often found in raw chicken, and currently the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK.
Campylobacter is responsible for more cases of food poisoning than salmonella, E. coli and listeria combined.
“Like other food poisoning bacteria, you can’t see it, smell it or even taste it, but when affected, you won’t forget it in a hurry” said a Bromley council spokesperson.
“Classic symptoms are abdominal pain, severe diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting which can be particularly severe in small children and older people. “At its worst, Campylobacter can kill.
“One of the main ways Campylobacter is spread is through cross-contamination.”Research by the Food Standards Agency has shown that many people wash raw poultry before cooking it.
“Washing raw chicken can actually spread Campylobacter by splashing it onto hands, work surfaces, clothing and cooking equipment.
“The bacteria will be destroyed by cooking but where it is left behind in sinks and on work tops, it could be transferred to other foods and make you ill.”
Cllr Tim Stevens, executive member for public protection and safety said: “Unfortunately, many people don’t realise how easy it is to inadvertently cause food poisoning in the home simply by washing raw poultry before cooking it.
“The Food Standards Agency has produced a leaflet entitled ‘Don’t wash raw chicken’ which is available upon request from Bromley’s food safety team.”
For further information and updates on food safety week, please visit the FSA’s website at www.food.gov.uk/ (Source: Bromley council press release)
WORLD CUP: RED CARDS FROM CROYDON – AND A WARNING ABOUT DRIVING THE MORNING AFTER THE MATCH BEFORE
The Safer Croydon Partnership is using the World Cup to show domestic violence and sexual abuse the red card.
A two-week poster campaign is currently being run across the borough, telling victims where they can get advice, help and support.
This is part of a year-long campaign aimed at helping victims and tackling perpetrators.
Stickers, with helpline numbers, will be placed at key venues, including Crystal Palace’s Selhurst Park, local libraries, sports centres and GPs’ surgeries.
The campaign also has the support of Croydon’s Pubwatch group, which will be distributing the safety messages throughout local pubs and clubs, and the Met’s neighbourhood policing teams, giving out leaflets that tell people how to seek help.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “Studies show that domestic abuse increases by up to 30pc during major international football tournaments. “Domestic abuse is a criminal offence, and police in Croydon will be targeting offenders and arresting those responsible for this crime.
“There is a range of services available to anyone affected by domestic abuse, whether violent or not, and we urge anyone affected to seek advice and support from our support agencies.”
Officers from Croydon’s community safety unit will be accompanying licensing officers to bars and pubs during the tournament, and handing out helpline leaflets to those watching the games.
They will also be targeting for arrest those committing domestic abuse.
Pictures of their most-wanted domestic abuse offenders will be shared with Croydon council CCTV operators so that they can alert officers should they spot them on camera.
Detective Sergeant Kris Blamires, from Croydon’s community safety unit, is organising the police operation to tackle domestic abuse in the borough during the World Cup.
“Our approach is focused on the victim, which is why we’ll have officers out and about giving information and advice to people in the support agencies and services that can help them if they are suffering domestic abuse,” he said.
“We’ll also be targeting offenders and making a concerted effort to arrest anyone committing abuse during the tournament.
“It is absolutely not acceptable to use the football, or anything else, as an excuse to abuse a partner or loved one, and we’ll be taking robust action against anyone who thinks otherwise.”
The poster campaign will run until Monday 16 June.
FOOTBALL FANS WARNED TO BE CAREFUL ON THE MORNING AFTER THE MATCH BEFORE
The dangers of driving on the morning after the night before are being driven home by a campaign timed to coincide with this summer’s World Cup competition.
Aimed principally at town-centre pubs and bars, publicity material for the Morning After campaign will alert drinkers to the fact that, for example, it can be as long as 11 hours before it is safe to drive after downing four pints of bitter, and 13 hours after drinking a bottle of wine.
Croydon council’s road safety team is concerned that fans enjoying a drink as they watch evening matches, particularly those involving England, might not realise that they could still be over the limit as they drive to work on the morning after.
While most act responsibly, there is a realisation that the heady mix of socialising and the excitement of the game – especially if England are winning – could lead to forgetfulness as to the effects of alcohol.
And that forgetfulness is more likely the following day, when, it is feared, many will use their vehicles, failing to take the previous evening’s drinking into account as they get behind the wheel.
The Morning After campaign warns drinkers that alcohol often takes longer to leave the blood than might be realised, and that driving before it has done so could lead to the loss of their driving licence or, worse, being involved in a road accident.
Cllr Kathy Bee, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “Obviously, the World Cup’s an exciting time and while we want everybody to enjoy themselves – and get behind the national team – we’d remind them to be careful.
“We know that there will be some who increase their alcohol intake during the competition, but we hope that by providing information and introducing visual publicity, such as beermats, football fans will act responsibly, and think twice if considering driving on the morning after.”
The campaign will be running alongside letters issued by the council’s licensing team to licensees, reminding them of their responsibility to ensure the good behaviour and safety of customers, especially during major sporting events and tournaments. (Source: Croydon council press releases)