Insect killing lamps discovered hanging over food preparation area at Southend buffet
INSECT killing lamps were unhygienically stored above cooking untensils and food preparation areas at an all you can eat buffet restaurant in Southend.
South Sea Express Cuisine in Alexandra Street has been given the second lowest possible food hygiene rating – “one” – following an inspection by Southend Council.
The rating is an improvement from the “zero” score given to the establishment last year.
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Council officers found the restaurant had been keeping hold of out of date food and failing to keep food safely chilled or heated.
Inspectors found the temperature of hot held Chicken Tikka was 12°C lower than the legal required storage temperature of 63°C.
Hot food can only be kept on display for sale for up to two hours below that temperature, otherwise it must be discarded.
“This is poor practice and may result in the production of toxins in food by food poisoning bacteria such as Clostridium perfringens,” council inspectors wrote in a report seen by the Echo.
Chilled high-risk ready-to-eat foods such as yoghurt, milk and a sweet rice pudding were observed being stored above the required temperature.
They had been on display for over four hours.
“Chilled foods which are high-risk and will support the growth of food poisoning bacteria and/or their toxins must be kept at or below 8°C,” the report added.
Inspectors also reported finding a Bombay potato dish that was five days passed its sell by date.
Cooked beef and chicken were also found to have been stored in a fridge for 10 days – a week longer than the legally allowed three-day period.
“As such these foods were disposed of by staff during the inspection,” the repot added/
Council inspectors also discovered insectocutor lamps was storeddirectly above cooking utensils in the basement kitchen area.
A second insect killing lamp was stored directly above food containers in the upstairs kitchen area.
The report advised the restaurant should: “Relocate the Insectocutor lamps so they are situated in an area away from food preparation surfaces and equipment to prevent contamination of cooking utensils.”
South Sea Express Cuisine was contacted for comment.