London restaurant owners angry and confused over Westminster council's rare burger crackdown

 

There’s a bloody row brewing in Westminster as restaurants hit back at council attempts to control the way burgers are served.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Westminster council are to launch routine health and safety inspections in a huge crackdown on rare burgers.

The council denied banning restaurants from serving “bloody burgers”, but insisted it was taking the matter of undercooked meat in restaurants “seriously”.

A spokesman said: “The council wishes to make absolutely clear that food improvement notices are only served on restaurants that are not treating meat properly before it is minced.”

The Evening Standard today quoted several London restaurant staff angry and confused over the crackdown.

Jessie Newton, who works at Lucky Seven in Westbourne Park Road said: “We have always offered rare burgers because we are confident in the way we cook them”.

“Our regular customers know exactly how they like them and come back again and again. It seems pointless to turn them away, and I hope we don’t have to,” she added.

Kerry Lattanzio, manager at Automat, in Dover Street, said: “The mince in a burger is exposed to the air, so bacteria can be present on the inside.

“As a policy we offer the burgers as medium-well done, but if customer must ask for rare, we will serve it however they want it.

“If there are stricter enforcements coming in we certainly won’t be serving anything that will break the law, so we just won’t serve it.

“I like my burgers medium rare, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that to a customer.”

Confusion over the nature of the council’s controls has already led some of the capital’s best burger restaurants to refuse to serve customers gourmet bloody burgers for fear of reprisal.

A spokesman from Joe Allen’s in Exeter Street said: “We are serving our burgers well done at the moment. This is what we have been advised.”

James Armitage, Westminster City Council’s food health and safety manager, said: “This is not about banning under cooked burgers. This is about making sure customers are eating meat that is not a threat to their health.

“It is possible to produce burgers that can be eaten under cooked but strict controls are necessary for this,” he added.

He went on: “We have enlisted the UK’s top expert on E. Coli, Professor Hugh Pennington, to get this matter resolved and he has already outlined that rare minced meat which is not correctly cooked and prepared can kill – we have to take that seriously and we believe the restaurant involved falls well below the standards required.”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    SFL Group: Video Project Manager

    £24,000 pa, plus benefits: SFL Group: Looking for a hard-working and self-moti...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel Reservations Assistant - French Speaking

    £16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This rapidly expanding travel c...

    Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager - World-Famous London Museum

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Do you have a strong record of ...

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Assistant

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will have demonstrable unde...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

    Lobster has gone mainstream

    Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

    Paul Scholes column

    Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss