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Takeaways targeted during action day

Takeaway food outlets in Walthamstow were put under the spotlight yesterday (17 March) during the latest Waltham Forest Council enforcement day.

A team of more than 20 officers carried out a series of spot-checks for food hygiene issues, street cleanliness, housing standards and compliance with the Council’s Private Rented Property Licencing (PRPL) scheme.

Action days now take place regularly across the borough as part of the Council’s efforts to make the area cleaner, greener and safer.

Yesterday’s activity included a particular focus on takeaway food outlets, as recent inspections led to two food businesses being closed down to protect the public from their poor hygiene standards. More than 50 spot-checks were carried out yesterday and for the most part the Environmental Health Officers found good standards of hygiene.

However, two of the businesses inspected will now be subject to prosecution due to pest infestation and poor hygiene. In addition, six hygiene improvement notices were issued and one business had 40kg of raw meat seized for inappropriate storage. Six businesses were found to be under new ownership and will require further investigation and an updated hygiene rating.

Cllr Clyde Loakes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “Some of the findings from today were quite shocking and frankly unacceptable. Establishments selling food should be well aware of their responsibilities, and with our regular programme of inspections they simply won’t get away with putting the health of our residents at risk.”

Elsewhere in the borough the PRPL team carried out over 25 inspections at licensed properties to ensure conditions are being met. A suspected bed in shed and an unlicensed house in multiple occupation were discovered and will be subject to enforcement action.

Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “The Council is serious about driving up property standards through our Landlord Licencing scheme. We have already started to prosecute landlords who think they can shirk their responsibility to get a licence, and we will continue to track down properties where no application has been made.”

Notes to editors

Waltham Forest Council is a flagship borough for improving conditions in the private rented sector and reducing anti-social behaviour through its Landlord Licensing Scheme.

Landlords found without a licence will be subject to enforcement action that could result in a prosecution and an unlimited fine. Once in possession of a licence, landlords that do not comply with its conditions could also be subject to a maximum fine of £5,000 on conviction.

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