Cliftonville butcher’s shop carries out deep clean after one star hygiene rating

Dubai Market, in Northdown Road (google maps)

By Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Esson

A Cliftonville butcher’s shop was hit with a one-star food hygiene rating after inspectors found staff were using “graffiti removal fluid and grease” to clean surfaces.

The environmental health team also discovered that Dubai Market, in Northdown Road, was storing carcasses alongside vegetables – and raised concerns over a blood-stained towel next to a hand-washing basin.

The business was temporarily closed following the visit while a deep clean was carried out and its new boss insists the next inspection will be “no problem”.

Documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests to Thanet District Council (TDC) reveal the details of the visit on August 16.

The inspector’s report says: “It was clear that you were not cleaning and disinfecting surfaces that come into contact with raw meat using safe methods.

“This means that bacteria grows in large quantities on these surfaces which is then transferred to the foods you prepare there.

“At the time of inspection you showed me a bathroom cleaner, graffiti removal fluid and grease which you were using to clean equipment and surfaces.

TDC has clarified the “grease” used was a “water displacement lubricant spray”.

“You did not have any food grade antibacterial sanitiser on the premises.

“The law says that you must clean and where necessary disinfect food surfaces and equipment to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

“A Hygiene Improvement Notice has been served in relation to this offence.”

The inspector also found raw meat and carcasses being stored in “unacceptable conditions” in the walk-in chiller.

“Meat was piled on top of each other on the floor and carcasses were partly wrapped and just put on the floor on top of other meat with dirty plastic and cardboard underneath,” the reports says.

“This raw meat was also being stored with ready-to-eat vegetables and other items without adequate separation to prevent cross-contamination.”

The visit resulted in the shop getting a food hygiene rating of only one out of five.

(Photo Mahdi Abdallah)

The business is now owned by experienced butcher Mahdi Abdallah, who took over from his cousin just under a month ago.

The 47-year-old told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “Before I was here, staff were doing these jobs.

“Twenty years I’ve been a butcher in the UK. I know everything. But I told staff please make sure vegetables and meat aren’t mixing it’s not allowed.

“Now everything is separate.”

The report says some meat products were obviously “past their best”.

“Some meat had an unpleasant odour and some had become slimy and some overly dry,” it says.

Next to the basin for hand-washing, there was a towel “which was covered with areas of blood and dirt” and potentially harbouring “harmful bacteria”.

The inspector recommended they use paper towels instead.

The report adds that the floor of the walk-in chiller and butchery area was covered with cardboard which “in places was stained with blood and meat juices”.

The inspector also noted “it was clear that the staff in charge of the business did not have adequate training in food safety and hygiene matters”.

The business was temporarily closed for “two or three days” after the inspection.

A Thanet District Council spokesperson said: “This was to allow the most important actions to be carried out, including deep cleaning, disinfection and discarding stock that was no longer suitable for sale.

“The business worked extremely hard and brought in extra staff to carry out the required work so that they could reopen quickly.”

Mr Abdallah said: “They closed it because you have to clean it properly nicely – after that they came and had a look and we opened.”

A later report from August 31 tells of how the butchery area and chiller had been “deep cleaned” since the initial visit, and food storage and cleanliness improved – with all items in clean packaging.

The shop’s butcher has been signed up for food hygiene training and inspectors are set to revisit the business on or after Monday, October 16.

“Whatever they [the council] say I do it – I have to do it,” Mr Abdallah said.

Any future inspection would be “no problem”, he said, adding: “Any time they’re very welcome.”

13 Comments

    • Who would buy meat there in the first place, I used to live at the back of a Chinese restaurant and they used to leave
      frozen meat out on a decorating table in the summerto thaw out, you should have seen the flies all over it, my cat used to sneak in the back and steal it, the owner knocked on my door asking for it back on one occasion after he caught my cat stealing it. No doubt he would have put it under the tap and re served it, I stay away from places like this as they are run by people who have no idea of our food hygiene standards.

      • Years back I renewed a roof on a kebab shop kitchen in Sittingbourne. After going into the kitchen we all took sandwiches to work after that . Even though we were offered free food .pure filth.

  1. Our immigration system is completely utterly broken . I’m afraid you can say goodbye to good old England standards

  2. Just think of the poor sods who have purchased meat from this premises. Regardless who they are. Who would put fresh meat on the floor. The customer never knows what goes on behind the scenes Regardless of the company your dealing with.

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