Hygiene ratings proposal ’will push street traders out of city’

Les Bayliss, of Burger World, who trades outside the Wickes store in Botley Road

Les Bayliss, of Burger World, who trades outside the Wickes store in Botley Road

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Blackbird Leys and Greater Leys. Call me on 01865 425403

STREET traders claim they are being “pushed out” of Oxford by council proposals to ban vans with poor hygiene ratings.

The city council said food vans peddling snacks on the street should have a minimum Food Hygiene Rating of three – which is “generally satisfactory” – or face being shut down.

There are only two street traders who do not already comply – Momo’s Fast Food van on St Ebbes Street, which got a two-star rating in December 2013, and Harry’s Grill in New Road, which received a one-star rating in September 2013.

But 122 restaurants and cafes currently have lower scores, and they will still be able to trade, regardless of their hygiene rating.

Rasim Ulas, 50, owner of the Posh Nosh kebab van, said: “I agree that traders should be clean, because you’re messing with people’s lives and health there.”

Mr Ulas, who has run the van – which has a five-star rating – for eight years, said the council is trying to cause trouble for street traders.

He said: “They don’t feel very happy with street traders in town. They’re trying to move them all away and push them out of town.

“If they move you, you’re going to lose your business and your job, which can ruin your life. They don’t understand that.”

This latest restriction on street traders follows council proposals to force vans to use biodegradable or recyclable boxes and utensils. It also plans to ban them from operating within 100m of any school or college between 7.30am and 6pm.

Food traders must apply for a licence from the city council to sell their products. The proposed plans mean traders without a three-star rating would not get permission, and those found to be breaching the rules would be put before a licensing committee.

Under the so-called Scores on the Doors scheme, organisations are rated from zero – being the worst – to five, which is the highest rating.

The scheme is run by the Food Standards Agency, with the city council carrying out inspections on its behalf.

Les Bayliss, owner of the Burger World van in Botley Road, said: “It’s victimisation against street traders, plain and simple. It’s just wrong, the whole system is just frustrating.”

Mr Bayliss, of Abingdon, who has run the van – which has a five-star rating – for 18 years, said: “It’s becoming a real struggle to make a living and they’re just making it harder.”

In the new Oxford City Council Street Trading Policy, the authority has said that “all food businesses must achieve and maintain a minimum Food Hygiene Rating of three – generally satisfactory.”

Colin Cook, member of the general licensing committee, who came up with the new rules, said: “It’s the nature of the food preparation in a van which means you need a higher standard than in restaurants.

“There are more dangers with a van than restaurants, given they don’t have a constant supply of running water and are not able to keep constant temperatures in fridges like on a static premises.You have to be more careful about it.”

The proposal is out to consultation, which ends on August 12. To comment on the plans go to oxford.gov.uk/consultation

THE SCORES

0 – Urgent improvement         necessary
1 – Major improvement         necessary
2 – Improvement             necessary
3 – Generally satisfactory
4 – Good
5 – Very good

Current ratings of the 25 listed street traders in Oxford 5 – 16
4 – five
3 – one
2 – one
1 – one
0 – none

 

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Comments (9)

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10:29am Sat 19 Jul 14

Sandy Wimpole-Smythe says...

Any food business with a rating of below three should be shutdown until standards improve, mobile or non mobile.
Any food business with a rating of below three should be shutdown until standards improve, mobile or non mobile. Sandy Wimpole-Smythe
  • Score: 17

10:31am Sat 19 Jul 14

carli says...

good....who needs dodgy food.
good....who needs dodgy food. carli
  • Score: 12

10:53am Sat 19 Jul 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

If traders aren't happy about the rules, they're obviously not interested in the welfare of their customers, and should shut up shop, and ship out.
If traders aren't happy about the rules, they're obviously not interested in the welfare of their customers, and should shut up shop, and ship out. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: 10

11:03am Sat 19 Jul 14

mytaxes says...

Should not be any difference in hygiene levels should be the same rule for all or is there an agenda to get rid of all street traders?
Should not be any difference in hygiene levels should be the same rule for all or is there an agenda to get rid of all street traders? mytaxes
  • Score: 4

6:38pm Sat 19 Jul 14

kiddyboy says...

Should be the same for ALL food outlets......get in a few of the Indian restaurant kitchens and your eyes will be opened......I have seen a few wouldn't feed my dog there....but the council seem to turn a blind eye.
Should be the same for ALL food outlets......get in a few of the Indian restaurant kitchens and your eyes will be opened......I have seen a few wouldn't feed my dog there....but the council seem to turn a blind eye. kiddyboy
  • Score: 4

8:29pm Sat 19 Jul 14

rfr says...

There are currently 123 establishments assessed by Oxford City Council to score below three ("improvement needed"), including some 'high-end' places. Take a look at http://www.scoresont
hedoors.org.uk/searc
h.php?client_id=310&
search_x=30&search_y
=17&gbt_id=0&award_s
core=fhrs2&award_ran
ge=lt&page=1#results
There are currently 123 establishments assessed by Oxford City Council to score below three ("improvement needed"), including some 'high-end' places. Take a look at http://www.scoresont hedoors.org.uk/searc h.php?client_id=310& search_x=30&search_y =17&gbt_id=0&award_s core=fhrs2&award_ran ge=lt&page=1#results rfr
  • Score: 3

7:43am Sun 20 Jul 14

Myron Blatz says...

Couldn't have anything to do with complaints about unfair, cheaper competition for all those non-tax-paying national and international fast-food chains and restaurants which now proliferate Oxford's main streets, could it? That, or City Council's manic desire to make Oxford the preferred holiday destination for those on short visas with lots of spending money and not claiming benefits?
Couldn't have anything to do with complaints about unfair, cheaper competition for all those non-tax-paying national and international fast-food chains and restaurants which now proliferate Oxford's main streets, could it? That, or City Council's manic desire to make Oxford the preferred holiday destination for those on short visas with lots of spending money and not claiming benefits? Myron Blatz
  • Score: 2

2:04pm Sun 20 Jul 14

mytaxes says...

The same councillor that wanted to video and record all our conversations when in a taxi. Just make one rule for all.
The same councillor that wanted to video and record all our conversations when in a taxi. Just make one rule for all. mytaxes
  • Score: 2

6:20pm Sun 20 Jul 14

Myron Blatz says...

Isn't this the same City Council who recently spent about £80k getting rid of am asbestos public health hazard at Risinghurst Community Centre which it owns, and which the public have been using for over 60 years?
Isn't this the same City Council who recently spent about £80k getting rid of am asbestos public health hazard at Risinghurst Community Centre which it owns, and which the public have been using for over 60 years? Myron Blatz
  • Score: 2

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