Inspectors dish up TV food for thought

The Oxford Times: Oxford City Council workers Rebecca Jeffries and Richard Kuziara are going to appear in Food Inspectors on BBC One      Picture: OX67212 Antony Moore Buy this photo Oxford City Council workers Rebecca Jeffries and Richard Kuziara are going to appear in Food Inspectors on BBC One Picture: OX67212 Antony Moore

THEY keep a vigilant eye on Oxford’s restaurants, pubs and bars.

But tonight residents will be the ones watching as the city’s inspectors are followed by camera crews.

As part of BBC One show Food Inspectors, business regulation team members Rebecca Jeffries, 28, and Richard Kuziara, 39, were accompanied by crews from October to December last year as they visited eight eateries.

Ms Jeffries said: “We don’t know what footage they will use yet, but we did find a few in Oxford that were not quite up to scratch.

“One street vendor we found had been treating raw meat improperly, getting blood all over the bread and salads he was also selling. Most things like that we come across are down to a lack of understanding or poor management. And some places are just genuinely unclean.

“Generally I enjoy my job, I get to go out and about and meet people and see lots of food being prepared.

“The programme has given us a chance to show that and how we are there to protect public’s health.

The Oxford Times:

  • Examples of poor food hygiene practice found by city council inspectors in eateries around Oxford

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“The nice thing about it is that for the places where we do find something that is not quite right, we go back later to see how they have improved.”

Oxford City Council is responsible for checking food safety in more than 1,100 food businesses, including greengrocers and college kitchens. It employs three full-time food inspectors.

Currently seven require “urgent improvement”, with a majority of 623 being rated “very good”.

Mr Kuziara said he hoped the show would make people think about food inspectors in a different way.

He said: “People think all we deal with is rats and grime, but a lot of it is about how the food is handled. The establishment can look clean but be a real disaster, you can never be sure.

“It’s a really interesting job and, contrary to popular belief, when we do find problems most people are happy for us to get involved.”

The four-part series starts tonight at 8pm on BBC One.

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