by Doug Powell
Birmingham’s food safety chief has attacked the Birmingham Mail for highlighting takeaways which could be at risk of giving customers food poisoning.
Chairman of the council’s licensing and public protection committee Barbara Dring told colleagues she was ‘saddened’ that the list of 127 takeaways and restaurants with zero-ratings for food hygiene on October 28, 2015 was published by the Birmingham Mail.
The food hygiene ratings are given by council inspectors so that customers are aware which kitchens are clean and well run and which have been found to be dirty, selling out of date food, have cockroaches or rats or other problems.
The council then publishes the results online via the Food Standards Agency website after an undetermined period for any appeals to be lodged.
The principle is that bad takeaways and restaurants are named and shamed.
But Coun Dring (Oscott) said: “I find it sad that the newspaper wants to knock Birmingham in this fashion.
She said that a prosecution followed and the club was fined £1,200 and made to pay £800 costs.
Conservative councillor Gary Sambrook (Kingstanding) said: “Birmingham residents deserve to know what the outcome of food hygiene inspections are.
“It’s shocking to think that the city council wants to try to muzzle the press, so that residents aren’t clear on the hygiene ratings of their local takeaway.
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