Sushi One, a restaurant in Chelmsford, Essex, has been ordered to close by Chelmsford Magistrates Court due to concerns over public safety. The closure follows a series of hygiene warnings issued by Chelmsford City Council and incidents which included a customer suffering anaphylaxis after eating at the restaurant. Other incidents included the council finding rodent droppings in a storeroom, raw meat left uncovered in freezers and open containers on the floor next to cleaning equipment.
The council’s Food Hygiene Rating Scheme initially awarded Sushi One just one star, which was then downgraded to zero stars. The council issued several hygiene improvement notices that were not implemented leading to the council pursuing legal action.
The customer with a serious nut allergy had explicitly informed the staff about her allergy and was assured that her meal would not contain nuts. Unfortunately, the lack of a proper food safety management system led to cross-contamination, resulting in the customer’s allergic reaction which required hospitalisation.
The court proceedings at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court on April 27 concluded with the restaurant’s owner being found guilty of failure to comply with two Food Hygiene Improvement Notices. One notice related to the absence of a food safety management system, while the other highlighted poor structural conditions. As a result, the owner was fined £24,000 and ordered to cover all prosecution costs. A Hygiene Prohibition Notice was issued, preventing the business from operating until it meets the required standards during a hygiene inspection.
If Sushi One successfully complies with the issued improvement notices and further hygiene inspections demonstrate satisfactory standards, the restaurant will be allowed to reopen. If this does happen, ongoing inspections by Environmental Health officers will be carried to monitor their continued adherence to hygiene regulations.
Simon Williams, CEO of Anaphylaxis UK said:
‘This case highlights the importance of choosing restaurants with a good food hygiene rating, especially for people with allergies. Food businesses with high hygiene standards are more likely to prioritise customer safety by following proper protocols, minimising the risk of cross-contamination and allergen exposure. Choosing restaurants that have received positive food hygiene ratings, can help to mitigate the potential dangers associated with dining out for people with serious allergies.’
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