Food Service Agency blog; female chef putting the final touches on a  meat dish

Food Standards Agency alerts - June

  1. FSA investigates Listeria outbreak in hospitals
  2. Rising business rates have the potential to hit budget and London hotels hardest‘
  3. Devastating’ event music fee tariff is to be challenged in court
  4. Sodexo wins two £15m five-year contracts for HMRC
  5. National Chef of the Year 2020 - Finalists revealed! 

1. FSA investigates Listeria outbreak in hospitals

The cases of listeriosis in hospitals that have reported in the news recently are continuing to be investigated by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland.

All products linked to the cases have been withdrawn and the product suppliers, North Country Cooked Meats and North Country Quality Foods both remain closed. The Good Food Chain who were supplied with ingredients from North Country Cooked Meats immediately ceased production when the outbreak was first discovered but has since been given permission to restart production under strict monitoring by the local authority. [SE1]

Important to note: Listeriosis is a rare infection and for most people it goes unnoticed or there are mild symptoms of gastroenteritis that usually last a short time without the need for treatment. The time between exposure to the organism and the development of the illness can be up to 70 days.

The FSA has confirmed that the Good Food Chain supplied affected product lines to the below 43 NHS trusts and one independent provider.

  • North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust
  • Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust
  • Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lewisham and Greenwich Hospital NHS Trust
  • Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust
  • Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Leicester Partnership NHS Trust
  • Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
  • University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
  • Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
  • The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
  • Aintree University Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Bolton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust
  • East Cheshire NHS Trust
  • Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
  • Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust
  • North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
  • Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust
  • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
  • Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Weston Area Health NHS Trust
  • Virgin (Farnham Hospital) - independent provider

Other unrelated Listeria cases

Muller UK products Cadbury Dairy Milk Cheesecake and Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel Cheesecake have both been recalled due to the possible presence of Listeria monocytogenes (a pathogenic bacteria that causes the infection listeriosis) in the products.

2. Rising business rates have the potential to hit budget and London hotels hardest

Business rates predictions from analysts at the real estate advisory firm JLL are warning that 2021 could see a rise in business rates again for the hospitality sector, due to a positive sales period increasing the earning ability across the sector.

While the prediction is that the rise will put pressure on many operators to reduce fixed costs and maintain operating profits, it is likely to hit budget operators and London hotels the hardest. JLL are quick to re-assure people that the rise is still predicted to be milder than that seen in 2017 which spurred more than 50,000 businesses to dispute the new rates implemented

To find out more click here.

3. ‘Devastating’ event music fee tariff is to be challenged in court

Music licensing company Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) announced earlier this year that a new Specially Featured Entertainment (SFE) tariff would be introduced, particularly applying to hospitality businesses hosting events featuring a DJ.

UKHospitality and the British Beer & Pub Association (BPPA) have joined forces to legally challenge the tariff that they say would lead to an average fee increase for venues of 130% and would cost the sector £49m.

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls has argued that venues are already struggling to cope with increasing costs and shrinking margins and so will not be able to pass on or withstand “sky high PPL fees”.  Lord Smith of Hindhead, chairman of Best Bar None and chief executive of the Association of Conservative Clubs has urged PPL to instead look at reducing their own expenditure if they want to provide copyright holders with a better return instead of hiking fees for venues.

To find out more click here.

Could the rise in business rates and the new music licencing costs, lead to tighter budgets in the kitchen?  We had the opportunity to interview Blue Arrow Head Chef, Clive Levett, who gave us insight on how to make a kitchen budget stretch. Read the full interview here.

4. Sodexo wins two £15m five-year contracts for HMRC

Under two new five-year soft services contracts, Sodexo’s government and agencies teams will deliver a wide range of services including cleaning, waste, porterage, mail and food services across HMRC’s central and south regions.

Paul Anstey, chief executive, government and agencies, Sodexo UK and Ireland, said:

“This contract reinforces our position as a trusted partner in providing a diverse range of services to significant government departments including the Ministry of Justice, Department for Work and Pensions and Scottish Government.”

To find out more click here.

To view jobs with Sodexo click here.

5. National Chef of the Year 2020 - Finalists revealed!

Have you been following the National Chef of the Year competition? Who will be crowned National Chef of the Year 2020? The Craft Guild of Chef has announced the line-up of finalists from the original 100 entrants hoping to wow the judges and take home the title.

  1. Marc Billings – Sous Chef at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough
  2. Fraser Bruce -Head Chef at the Halsetown Inn, St Ives
  3. Mehdi Lahmadi - Junior Sous Chef at Coworth Park in Ascot, Berkshire
  4. Steve Groves - Head Chef from Roux at Parliament Square in London.
  5. Nick Edgar - Head Chef at the Ryebeck hotel, Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria
  6. Derek Johnstone - Head Chef at Borthwick Castle, North Middleton, Midlothian
  7. Ben Boeynaems - Head Chef at the Zetter hotel, London
  8. Harry Kirkpatrick - Sous Chef, Trinity Restaurant, London
  9. Karl O’Dell - Head Chef at Texture London
  10. Nick Smith - Head Chef at Vacherin

After receiving the final brief at a mentor day on 10th September, this year’s finalists will be setting out to impress an inspiring list of finals judges including Clare Smith, Jonny Lake, Claude Bosi, Philip Howard and Chantelle Nicholson on 1st October at the Restaurant Show at Olympia London in front of a live audience.

To find out more click here.

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