KeepHealthCare.ORG – An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at a surprise food-hygiene inspection in Derby
Have ever wondered what happens when a takeaway, restaurant or school canteen gets a visit from a food hygiene inspector?
If so, you are in luck as we can give you an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into the process that council officers follow to grade the city’s restaurants, bars and takeaways.
We were invited to witness the hygiene inspection of MK’z Fast Food, in Pickering Rise, Breadsall Hilltop, by senior environmental health officer Sarah O’Reilly, charged with ensuring that the city’s eateries are up to scratch.
MK’s Fast Food in Breadsall Hilltop.
The restaurant had previously been given a score of four out of five for food hygiene, so hopes were high for MK’z.
Mrs O’Reilly explained the situation first: “We are performing an unannounced visit to the premises to ensure that food handling and serving standards are met. By visiting unannounced, it gives us a snapshot of how they operate day-by-day.
“We’re not here to catch anyone out, we just want to ensure the safety of the public.”
After entering the premises, the inspector showed their council identification to the owners.
The fast food restaurant looked clean from first impressions.
The pair then donned what the reporter described as “fashionable whites”, washed their hands and began inspecting.
First, Mrs O’Rielly had to check MK’z suppliers and invoices to make sure that their supply links were visible.
Then, she checked the restaurant’s antibacterial spray that they used to clean work surfaces.
Though it was a well-known brand, it was not quite up to scratch.
Sarah O’Reilly visits food establishments regularly to check their hygiene and cleanliness.
The officer said: “The problem with this cleaning chemical is were not quite sure that it meets the required British Standard that businesses should be using.
“I’m happy at the moment because it’s better than nothing and it’s got something to reduce germs down to a safe level, but in the long term if it is not on the list then the gentleman will have to change the sanitiser to something that meets one of the two British Standards.”
Then, Mrs O’Reilly inspected the fridge that MK’z used to store raw meats and found it to be in excellent condition.
A good example of how to store raw meat, according to the food hygiene officer.
The inspector said: “This is good practice; the business is generally trying to separate out its storage of its raw and ready-to-eat foods.
“As you can see the majority of the fridge is full of meat and there are three bags of cheese on the top.
“The cheese is above the raw meat which is good practice, but the cheese in this case is going to be used on pizzas which are ultimately going to be cooked anyway, so there’s very little risk to food safety.”
After this, she inspected the fridge that stored ready-to-eat food.
Underneath a work surface at MK’s.
Mrs O’Reilly said: “I’m just checking the temperature of the food here. I need to make sure that MK’z are storing foods at the right temperature.
“Legally, something that is high risk – meaning potentially ready-to-eat – must measure below eight degrees centigrade, and as you can see here the rice that is being stored in this fridge is at three point six and dropping slowly.”
The inspector then checked under and behind the kitchen’s tables and installations to make sure that they were regularly cleaned and free of food debris.
Finally, chef Mr Atwal was asked to perform an example clean of the sink area.
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After Mr Atwal completed the clean, the officer said: “The gentleman did quite a good clean, as you can see it looks visibly clean. He used the sanitiser and blue roll which he then threw in the bin.
“Unfortunately he only did a one-stage clean, although when I did probe him further he did say that he was aware that surfaces and sinks and things like that do need a two-stage clean.
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“This is because the first stage is to get rid of any visible dirt and grease and then the second stage is to get rid of the germs and bacteria that you can’t see.”
The inspector did a thorough job of investigating the remaining parts of the restaurant over the visit that took approximately two hours. After this, Mrs O’Reilly and the reporter left the premises.
Owner Shames Nawaz, 31, lives in Pear Tree.
He said: “I’ve owned MK’z since May 2016 and I think we’re doing alright.
“There are lots of little things, like having separate boards for food or having the fridge temperature right. I think we’ve done a good job.”
MK’z Fast Food’s food hygiene score will not be available for a few weeks. After the restaurant is graded by the officer, they have 30 days to appeal the decision. After that, the score needs to be processed, and only then can a freedom of information request be sent in for the score to be published.
The information then normally takes around 20 days to be released.