Yesterday, opposition councillors said they have been kept in the dark about the FSA report until told about it by The Journal, and will be asking urgent questions about its findings.
Labour group leader, Grant Davey, said: “I am unaware of this audit and feel it is a disgrace that it has not been brought before our risk appraisal panel, which meets monthly.” Auditors found inadequate food establishment and intervention records were being kept across all enforcement activities, and those that were available were frequently incomplete.
Some officers were authorised to carry out enforcement activities under certain food regulations, but it was not clear whether there was sufficient in-house expertise to effectively carry out such duties.
The audit found there had been a past reliance on warning letters and return visits to businesses, but it was clear this approach had not always been effective in securing compliance, with repeated breaches frequently noted on consecutive inspections.
Following the audit, urgent actions required include confirmation that two businesses had stopped using equipment for both raw and ready-to-eat food, and a re-assessment exercise of all overdue and unrated businesses to make sure they were not affected by the FSA’s latest guidance on e.coli.