Report of the Director of Markets & Consumer Protection.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Markets and Consumer Protection on the Commercial Environmental Health Team Service Plan 2020-2021 and the London Port Health Authority Food Service Enforcement Plan 2020-2021.
The Assistant Director (Public Protection) apologised to the Committee for a drafting error on page 149 of the pack when the figures for last year’s Food Standards work were omitted from the Commercial Environmental Health Service Plan. Members were advised that those figures are available and would be included in the final version to be published on the City of London’s website.
Furthermore, Members were advised that the Commercial Environmental Health Service Plan was noticeably different from previous years in that it was borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the various lockdown restrictions surrounding it.
The plan is configured around a 3-stage approach for which there were originally no dates, - these only emerged as the pandemic grew and national measures were introduced.
The 3-stage approaches are as follows:
Stage 1: Initial monitoring of businesses and activities posing the highest risks.
All planned food hygiene and food standards inspections were stopped nationally at the direction of the Food Standards Agency as priority was given to COVID-19 related advisory work and other urgent reactive work.
City of London Officers also checked-up on cooling tower sites to ensure that they continued to be managed safely to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella sp. bacteria, the cause of Legionnaires disease.
The Commercial Environmental Health Team have been supporting City businesses to recover from the effects of the pandemic and the team provides advice to City businesses on a wide range of Food Safety, Health & Safety, Pest Control and general trading matters, linking up with City of London in Trading Standards, Licensing and Pollution Control.
Stage 3: Return to (a new) normality.
This final stage of the Plan will see a return to more ‘business as usual’ once the Government has defined its policy for the next phase of the pandemic and as far as possible, the City will be undertaking more planned proactive interventions and projects as set out in the plan.
A Member questioned the fact that at least 5% of City of London businesses have an unsatisfactory rating and asked what the City was doing to improve and raise the standards of such businesses. Officers advised the Committee that the City of London coaches such businesses through advice, guidance and training opportunities. The Committee was further advised that visits to businesses with unsatisfactory ratings were carried out more frequently as opposed to annually.
RESOLVED – Members approved;
a) the specific food safety and health & safety activities set out in the
Commercial Environmental Health Team Plan 2020-2021; and
b) the London Port Health Authority Food Service Enforcement Plan 2020-