Grim details of Subway branch with one-star food hygiene rating exposed
The grim details of a Subway branch in Birmingham were exposed in tonight’s Channel 4 documentary The Truth About Your Sandwich.
Presenter Helen Skelton investigated Britain’s sandwich industry, including the hygiene conditions in high street chains such as Subway and Greggs.
The host uncovered some stomach-churning information about the sandwich franchise here in the UK, learning that 10 branches had been given a one star hygiene rating after inspections in 2019 and 2020, meaning major improvement is necessary.
Helen delved into the Freedom Of Information report of one Subway branch in Birmingham from 2019 and discussed her findings with food hygiene consultant Sylvia Anderson.
‘The key issues that we’re finding here is that food has been found past its use by date, which is a safety issue,’ Sylvia stated.
‘They’ve got mouse droppings all over the place, including the public toilets and the staff toilets, the staff toilets are deemed as disgusting.’
When asked her feelings about all the different discoveries in just one branch, Sylvia said: ‘They should have been shut down. Then they should have been re-inspected and then if everything is okay, reopened for the public.
‘They shouldn’t be allowed, with a low rating like this, to make sandwiches for the public, which is classed as high risk.
‘I wouldn’t feel safe, knowing that I’ve read this report now, going in there and buying a sandwich.’
Inspectors had allowed for the Birmingham Subway branch to remain open if it continued to make improvements.
A spokesperson for Subway told the programme: ‘All Subway stores are owned and operated by independent Franchisees, and it is their responsibility to meet all… Food Safety requirements.
‘However, it is extremely important to the Subway Brand that all of the stores operate to the highest of standard of Cleanliness & Hygiene…’
They added: ‘Out of the stores identified three have been awarded the top ratings and seven are still awaiting an Environmental Health Officer revist, which have been delayed… under the current Covid-19 situation.’
The local authority food safety officer has several enforcement options available as well as giving advice and guidance to make sure these improvements are made.
The food safety officer will also tell the business how quickly these improvements must be made and this will depend on the type of issue that needs to be addressed.
If the officer finds that a business’s hygiene standards are very poor and there is an imminent risk to public health, when food may be unsafe to eat, the officer must act to ensure consumers are protected. This could result in stopping part of the business or closing it down completely until it is safe to recommence.
Each local authority plans a programme of inspections every year. The frequency of inspections depends on the potential risk to public health.
The Truth About Your Sandwich is available to stream on Channel 4OD.
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