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Food business closed over hygiene breaches

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Dangerous hygiene conditions have seen a Middlesbrough food business shut down with immediate effect.

Environmental Health Officers put the emergency closure in place following a visit to North Yorkshire Farm Produce last Thursday (October 14).

An inspection at the Copeland Court premises on the town's Riverside Industrial Estate uncovered serious breaches of food hygiene rules that presented an imminent risk of injury to health.

These included a lack of effective routine cleaning, flooding with foul waste water and foodstuffs at risk of contamination.

A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice was served on the company requiring the immediate closure of the premises.

The Council was yesterday (Tuesday, October 19) granted a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order at Teesside Magistrates' Court confirming the Council's actions and requiring the business to remain closed until the Council is satisfied that health risk conditions have been removed.

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council's Head of Public Protection, said: "Foodstuffs at all stages of production must be protected from risks of contamination.

"This requires good standards of cleanliness and effective hygiene management, which were absent at this business.   

"The prohibition order issued by the court will prevent anyone from using the premises as a food business and will only be lifted if the owner can demonstrate that the premises comply with food safety and hygiene laws." 

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: "I know that in Middlesbrough the vast majority of food businesses maintain good hygiene and ensure they follow food safety rules.

"Therefore, it is shocking when a business acts irresponsibly and fails to practise basic hygiene, which leaves the Council's Environmental Health Officers with no option but to take decisive action and shut it down."