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Starbucks found with flies crawling on open milk cartons

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A food hygiene inspector found flies walking over open milk cartons during a routine inspection of a Starbucks coffee shop.

According to Surrey Live, the council employee reported seeing “too many flies” in the kitchen at the White Lion Walk branch in Guildford, Surrey.

They gave the café a two-out-of-five hygiene rating, noting that the staff’s food safety and hygiene knowledge was lacking and that improvements were “necessary”.

During the visit on July 29, the inspector from Guildford Borough Council took pictures of areas where food was handled, with one showing flies crawling around the rim of milk cartons as well as on plates.

The inspection found that staff did not have a good enough grasp of how important food hygiene was, although the café has asked the council for a reinspection and said there had been “significantly increased” investment in the store.

The report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act, read: “There were too many flies seen in the food handling areas.

“These pests carry food poisoning bacteria and can contaminate food and food surfaces that they land on.

“Appropriate treatment methods must be used to eliminate these pests.

“It was apparent from discussions during my inspection that the level of food hygiene awareness amongst your staff was inadequate on certain important food safety matters related to their work responsibilities.

“In particular there was poor appreciation of risk of contamination posed by a lot of flies in food handling areas.”

It added: “In this respect, staff should at least be instructed and have an appreciation of the importance of any control or monitoring points identified by your Food Safety Management Procedure for which they are responsible.”

The inspector stated that action needed to be taken “immediately” to resolve this problem as well as ensuring the kitchen surfaces were cleaned after a dead fly was spotted.

The poor rating means the cafe is in the worst 5 per cent of food businesses in the Guildford borough while “formal action could be necessary” if the cafe does not improve.

In response to the report a spokesperson for Starbucks said the findings were a one-off incident and they had asked Guildford Borough Council for a re-inspection.

They added: “The health and safety of our customers and partners will always be our highest priority.

“We are sorry that in this one instance, cleanliness standards at the White Lion Walk store in Guildford store fell beneath the high standards we always set ourselves.

“We’ve since taken action and significantly increased our investment in this store to ensure customers can once again enjoy the warm and welcoming environment we always strive to provide at Starbucks, and we are committed to ensuring these controls remain in place. We have also invited the inspectors back for a further inspection”

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