Blackpool Council has defended its measures for protecting food hygiene levels in the resort after being criticised as part of a television investigation.
The town was named as one of six which did not carry out any food sampling in the past year in a report by ITV’s Tonight programme aired last Thursday.
But town hall chiefs today said they did robustly enforce food hygiene standards by targeting high risk premises with regular inspections of dirty takeaways, restaurants and cafes.
Blackpool Council deputy leader Coun Gillian Campbell said: “Blackpool Council’s environmental health officers work extremely hard to ensure food outlets are operating in a safe manner and robustly enforce food legislation requirements.
“Given reduced and limited resources our approach is to target outlets that are preparing food in conditions that may pose a risk to public health through rigorous inspections of the premises in terms of hygiene.
“Higher risk businesses are prioritised over others. These inspections can identify factors that may lead to food poisoning or may mislead the consumer.
“This focussd approach can and does lead to enforcement action to protect the public.
“In fact, Blackpool Council is among the top performing in the country in terms of enforcement and pursuing food outlets that flout the law.”
The council added it did carry out “a small number of food samples.” Inspections establish whether businesses are meeting legal requirements relating to food hygiene and standards.
Enforcement action has ranged from cautions, emergency prohibition orders to court prosecutions. Among recent cases was the prosecution of Leying Shi who was ordered to pay £2,000 in August after pleading guilty at Blackpool Magistrates Court to nine food safety and hygiene offences.
Environmental health officers had inspected Asia Bagus on Mowbray Drive in Layton last November.