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Freedom of Information Request

Inspection report for food safety inspection undertaken on 9/3/22 - Hummus Bar 82 Golders Green Rd NW11 8LN

Received: 26 April 2022

Can I please have a copy of the food safety inspection report and FHRS calculations undertaken on 9/3/22 for the above premises please ( including any hand written communication left with the FBO at the end of the inspection)

Internal Review
Complaint partially upheld.
The refusal notice should have been clearer as to why the information is being withheld and a timeframe for when this information will be made available to you.
I have consulted with the Environmental Health Service, who prepared the response, and reviewed the information that falls in scope of your request and whether the withheld information can be supplied to you. 
In order to meet our transparency requirements we will release information around food safety inspections carried out to demonstrate effective food safety compliance, where it is in the public interest to do so.  You will see from the FOI Disclosure log www.barnet.gov.uk/foi-requests the Council does release Food Hygiene Inspection reports and these are readily available.
In relation to your information request, the requested information relates to an allegation of Food Safety contraventions at the premises, Hummus Bar 82 Golders Green Road NW11 8LN.  EH confirmed that the last inspection at the premises revealed a number of food hygiene offences and therefore there is an ongoing live enforcement investigation. This is not particularly rare and often food businesses will rectify without enforcement action. But until a revisit is made to such premises EH has advised that they cannot predict whether formal enforcement would follow. Eg if no improvements were to have been made.  I have reconsidered the public interest test, and find that the correct EIR exceptions were applied, and the public interest lies in withholding the information but the response should have been clearer in setting out that the latest inspection report lists significant breaches and EH has not established rectification has occurred.  
For the purposes of any complaint file, the Council is mindful of the need to protect correspondence between alleged perpetrators and officers, as these are safe spaces under which discussions and negotiations can occur to address and resolve alleged breaches of legislation. This information would clearly be relevant to inquiries made by the Council into whether there had been a breach, which would be an inquiry of a criminal nature. Disclosure would, therefore, potentially affect the Council's ability to conduct such an inquiry, and the course of justice more generally
The arguments in favour of disclosing are around public safety, transparency and confidence that food safety matters are being addressed properly and the arguments for withholding weigh more strongly than disclosure, and overriding confidentiality and release would impact on the ability of a public authority to carry out effective enforcement actions. The identifiable harm / negative impact on the interests identified in the exception is disclosure would cause harm and distress to the alleged perpetrator and would inhibit open and frank discussions. Furthermore, the threshold for establishing adverse effect is high, since it is necessary to establish that disclosure would have the stated adverse effect.  
The Council remains of the view that course of justice R12(5)(b) exception was engaged at the time of the request and the public interest lies on withholding the information requested.  I am also of the view that Regulation 13 (Personal data) applied at the same time, and apologise for this omission.
UPDATE 10.05.2022 Since the last request a further revisit has been made and as satisfactory actions had been taken the Council is not taking any formal action following the inspection. Please find attached report.

Outcome / Documents

  • 8246896 IR Attachment Hummus bar letter 23.03.22 _Redacted - application/pdf - Download
  • Response (some exempt) - version uploaded on 27/05/2022 - application/pdf - Download