Latest business briefing published

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To celebrate the Tour de France passing through our district this month, our latest Business Briefing is a special edition, available now to download for free.

The sporting event will provide a unique opportunity for business owners and shopkeepers alike. Thousands of spectators and tourists are expected to line the streets to catch a glimpse of the excitement as the eyes will focus on Epping Forest for a brief but invaluable time. An illustrated, pull-out route map can be found in this edition of the Briefing, as well as tips on how to make the most of this momentous occasion.

As well as highlights on what’s to come from Le Tour, July’s issue looks at the achievements of the Council’s apprenticeship scheme, which provides crucial opportunities for young people to gain the skills and experience they need to give them a helping hand in kick-starting their careers. In addition, are updates from the Chamber of Commerce, Town Centre Initiative Funding, the launch of the Investors in Youth Awards 2014 and more.

Le Tour edition of One Business Briefing (pdf 4.8MB)


Food Safety Week fights campylobacter

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Councillors, Environmental health, Food safety, Local business, Media, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your council, Your home

You can’t see it, smell it or even taste it on food, but if it affects you, you won’t forget it. At its worst, it can kill you.

Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK, up to a quarter of a million people are affected each year. Food Safety Week runs from 16 to 22 June and this year is focusing on tackling Campylobacter.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is spearheading a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem. Farmers and producers will be asked to work harder to reduce the amount of bacteria on their raw poultry. Consumers will be able to see the latest data and be the judges of any progress, or lack of progress, that they make.

Local authorities, all the major supermarkets and key partners will be working together to make sure people know how to stay safe.

Advice is available at

Serious problem

Bob Martin, Head of Foodborne Disease Strategy at the Food Standards Agency said: “This is a serious problem and we are calling on the whole industry to act together to tackle Campylobacter. People in Epping Forest can do their part by handling and preparing chicken with extra cares – don’t wash raw chicken, cook it properly and enjoy it safely.”

Spread the word, not the germs

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Environment Portfolio Holder at Epping Forest District Council said: “It’s important that we do our part to make sure that people know to handle and cook food safely for themselves and for their families. We’re proud to be keeping people in Epping Forest safe and well by being part of this campaign to spread the word – and not the germs.”


Food businesses go from zeros to heroes

Written on . Posted in Business, Environmental health, Food safety, Licensing, Local business, Out and about, Prosecutions, Regulations, Residents, Supporting business, Your area, Your community, Your environment

Food Hygiene Inspectors have started the first round of revisits to those food businesses rated zero in the Food Standards Agency (FSA) Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. Since the ratings were first published in April this year businesses have had time to improve their standards and inspectors have received a pleasant surprise.

Food hygiene ratings logoOf those visited so far, all have shown some improvement but special mention must go to the Perfect Choice take-away in Loughton, where the business has gone from a score of zero, requiring urgent work, to 5, displaying the highest standards.

The business has trained all its staff in food hygiene and thorough cleaning has been undertaken. They have introduced procedures to protect the food from contamination and are operating at a very good standard of hygiene and safety.

Councillor Will Breare-Hall, Portfolio Holder for Environment said: “We are very pleased to see that businesses have taken the rating scheme seriously and congratulate those who have made great efforts to improve. This is an excellent start but we will continue to work with those who still need to make improvements.”

The Food Standards Agency are encouraging the public to ‘Look before they book’ when organising Christmas meals. Catriona Stewart, Head of the Food Hygiene Ratings Team at the FSA, adds: “No-one wants to gamble with their health when eating out, particularly when celebrating a special festive meal. Local authorities, including Epping Forest District Council, have worked with the FSA to roll-out the scheme successfully, which helps people choose where to eat. We now have an app for your smart phone which makes it even easier for people to check hygiene ratings before deciding which place to visit.”

Food Hygiene ratings can be found on the website or the new, free FSA app can be downloaded from Google Play ( or iTunes (

Cafe Pays Price for Out of Date Food

Written on . Posted in Business, Community, Food safety, Older people, Out and about, Residents, Young people, Your area, Your community

Food products including ham, cheese and shrimps have been seized from an Epping Cafe by Environmental Health Officers from Epping Forest District Council following a routine inspection on 2 February 2010. The Officers seized the products from Belgique after discovering them to be past their use by date – in one case by more than a month.

The issue was referred to a Justice of the Peace at Harlow Magistrates` Court who agreed the food should be condemned and destroyed. Belgique were not represented in court but will have to pay for the cost of disposal of the out of date food products.

Two Hygiene and Improvement Notices have been issued to Belgique on `food management safety` and `staff training`. They have 14 days to comply with the notices and failure to do so could lead to prosecution.

Council Apology to Epping Piano Lounge

Written on . Posted in Business, Environmental health, Food safety, Local business

Epping Forest District Council has apologised to a local business after mistakenly including the Piano Lounge in a list of premises that received Food Improvement Notices. John Gilbert, Director of Environment and Street Scene for the Council said: It was an administrative mistake on our part and we are very sorry for any inconvenience and embarrassment caused.

The Council received a Freedom of Information Act request from the Epping Forest Guardian earlier this year asking for a list of restaurants and take-aways visited by Environmental Health Officers between 2006 and 2008 where improvement notices has been issued.

Mr Gilbert said: The standards of quality and hygiene among our local pubs, restaurants and take-aways are generally very high. None of the problems found by our inspectors constituted an imminent risk to public health and wherever we asked for improvements, these were carried out without any need for legal proceedings.

However, we made a mistake on the list. All of the records are computerised. Four notices had been issued to the previous occupier of one premises, an Indian restaurant, which is now occupied by the Piano Lounge. When the Piano Lounge took over the site, our system transferred the previous occupier`s history to the new business.

None of the notices issued between 2006 and 2008 related to the Piano Lounge. We are very sorry for the mistake and we have acted as quickly as we can to change the way our computer system holds this information to ensure it cannot happen again.