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Butcher in Greenwich slammed by inspectors after broken glass found in meat

By Joe Coughlan, Local Democracy Reporter

A butcher in Greenwich has been given a low hygiene rating after broken glass was found in raw meat and drinks were at risk of being contaminated with blood.

Woolwich Meat & Grocery in Plumstead Road, Woolwich, was given a hygiene rating of one by Greenwich council after an inspection in September.

According to the report, broken glass from a bottle was found in an open box holding raw meat in the butcher’s fridge, which could contaminate the food. The inspector also said that blood from the raw meat could contaminate the drink bottles in the fridge.

The inspector wrote in their hygiene report: “There were bottles of drink stored in an open box in the walk-in fridge with open raw meat carcasses. These bottles could be contaminated with blood from the carcasses and then transfer to the hands of the person drinking the drink.”

The report published last week also said that holes, likely made by mice, were found in bags of rice in the shop. Rubbish was also found in the storage area for the rice, which the inspector said should be kept clean to minimise the risk of rodents.

“The inspector said the shop must obtain a pest control visit, in order to provide “control, suitable baiting, and proofing of the premises for mice”.

Food in the shop, such as chicken and oxtail seasoning, had expired, with other foods such as honey beans and soft drinks being illegally imported from Nigeria.

“The inspector said in their report that such products were illegal given concerns about pesticides in the beans, and levels of preservatives and artificial colouring in the drinks.

In their report, the inspector wrote: “This drink contains one of the so called ‘Southampton six’ colours which have been shown to have an adverse effect on the behaviour of young children. Any product in the UK which contains any or all of these colours must display the mandatory warning on the packaging.”

Other details in the report included broken tiles on the shop floor, causing a safety hazard for customers and staff, and dirty sinks, workbenches and walls in the butchery room. The inspector also said there was no sink in the shop to clean equipment.

The report required the butcher to fix the issues immediately, with staff being given four weeks to complete proper food hygiene training.

Having received a one out of five hygiene rating, the shop is in the worst 10 per cent of food businesses in Greenwich.

Woolwich Meat & Grocery was contacted for comment.

Pictured top: Woolwich Meat & Grocery in Plumstead Road (Picture: Google Street View)

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