Jamie’s Italian criticised over several food hygiene “breaches”

By Becky Paskin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

Two diners at Jamie's Italian in Reading complained of suspected food poisoning
Two diners at Jamie's Italian in Reading complained of suspected food poisoning
Jamie Oliver’s Italian restaurant chain has come under fire after a series of hygiene failings and suspected food poisoning cases were uncovered by food safety inspectors.

According to the Daily Mail, environmental health officers (EHOs) uncovered several breaches of food safety during spot checks at 11 Jamie’s Italian restaurants for the year November 2009-2010.

Breaches discovered included out-of-date meat served in staff meals at Canary Wharf, undercooked burgers in Guildford (where management were supposedly threatened with legal action if standards didn’t change), produce stored on the floor in Glasgow, and two potential cases of norovirus in Reading, contracted from a shellfish dish.

However a spokesperson for the 17-strong chain dismissed the report as misleading, claiming threats of legal action were simply standard wording used on food hygiene templates sent to every restaurant in the country.

“All of the Jamie's Italians have EHO ratings of four or five - mostly five (the top rating),” he said. “The various EHOs have only ever recommended things as opposed to demanding improvements.”

He added: “There have been no proven cases of food poisoning which have warranted further EHO investigation.”

Further growth

Jamie’s Italian recently acquired a site at thecentre:mk in Milton Keynes and at the Maltings shopping centre in St. Albans, both of which are due to launch before the end of the summer.

The chain, headed by managing director Simon Blagden, also intends to open a new restaurant in Gunwharf Quays this month, as well as in Cheltenham, Manchester and Threadneedle Street in London.

It aims to operate 25 restaurants by the end of 2011.

Related topics: Restaurants, Venues, Business

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Distressing news

Posted by Mark Harrington,

It’s distressing to see that one of the world’s most celebrated chefs has come under fire after a series of hygiene failings when this is something that can be so easily avoided – by simply making sure all kitchen surfaces are clean and that all food is cooked correctly.

This story highlights the importance of having an auditable health and safety record as no one can avoid the implementation of having a poor standard of food hygiene. Food poisoning is a serious illness and nobody wants this served up with their celebrity dinner plate.

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I am not surprised

Posted by Lisa,

Just because you have 4 or 5 stars does not mean you have excellent food safety and food hygiene standards. I walk past restaurants every day and see chefs wearing watches, earings, rings, smoking outside sitting on the ground with their full whites on, going to loo with full whites on. Most of them do training but it's never acted upon. Jamies has obviously had a few issues with several different officers, shows there is a pot beginning to boil over. Take action before it's too late and don't be so complacent Mr Spokesman. Jamie it's time to get back in your own kitchen! Food poisoning is a serious threat!

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What chance have we got

Posted by Sharon,

What chance have we got as Consumers when Top Restaurants like that of Jamie Olivers are dishing out unsafe food. I lost my child to E.coli so believe me, food poisoning is not just a case of a bad belly. Why are Food Safety Rules so hard for some people to follow!!!!! Where is safe you may ask yourself because that is whats going through my mind right now and probably a lot of others.

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