Poorly maintained wooden boards pose 'risk of food poisoning', council says

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Poorly maintained wooden boards pose 'risk of food poisoning', council says

Related tags: Birmingham, Eating

Restaurants serving food on poorly maintained wooden boards could pose a health risk to diners, a council has warned.

Birmingham City Council issued the advice after Ibrahim’s Grill and Steak House on the city’s Warwick Road was fined £50,000 for the practice.

The council brought a case against the restaurant after claiming the ‘plates’ were 'incapable of being cleaned' and put anyone eating off them at risk of falling ill.

Inspectors first visited the restaurant in October 2016 after an alleged food poisoning outbreak affecting a party of 14.

After a return visit in December 2016 officers found the wooden boards were still being used to serve food.

At Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (4 January) the restaurant admitted it failed to comply with a hygiene improvement notice by continuing to use the 'plates'.

Ibrahim’s was fined £50,000 along with £670 costs and a £120 victim surcharge.

“It is completely unacceptable for businesses to put the health of people eating at their restaurants at risk,” said Mark Croxford, head of environmental health at Birmingham City Council.

“The owners were given sound advice which they chose to ignore. I am pleased magistrates supported our efforts with a larger fine and hope advice we give on improving businesses to protect health will not be ignored in future.”

The Food Standards Agency website says there is no ‘strong evidence’ that wooden chopping boards are less hygienic than other types such as plastic, but it is important they are cleaned properly after each use and replaced if damaged from ‘deep cuts or scoring’.

The rise in restaurants spurning the humble dinner  plate for receptacles such as slates, tin cans and even shoes has been catalogued by the @WeWantPlates Twitter account, which pursues a ‘global crusade’ against the practice.

Last year a YouGov study of 2,000 people​ found that 64% of people were happy to eat of boards, 52% out of a plant pot and 17% off a shovel.

The standard circular plate received a 99% approval rating.

Related topics: Legislation

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