In an attempt to protect visitors from food poisoning and being ripped off by rogue operations, the government’s food watchdog is cracking down on unlicensed hot dog, burger and fish and chips vans at the London Olympics.
The FSA (Food Standards Agency) has given £1.5million to pay for an extra 14,700 food hygiene inspections from April to September, covering pubs, restaurants, stalls and vans across the country during the Paralympics and Olympic games.
There is an expected increase in bootleg alcohol, people serving food from their front garden and businesses stockpiling food due to delivery routes being cut, which inspectors are facing.
Hundreds of environmental health officials with be driving the force, with 10 senior officers overlooking them and providing advice and extra training to caterers and restaurants who fail additional hygiene and safety inspections.
Where public health is put at risk, tough enforcement action will follow. Street vendors that are unlicensed and without a restaurant insurance policy near Olympic venues will have their vehicles detained.
Head of enforcement and local authority delivery at the agency, Sarah Appleby, said, “London 2012 is about celebrating everything that the UK has to offer and food is an important part of this.
“We have so much fantastic food to showcase to Games visitors, and we want food business owners to ensure that everything they sell is the best it can be. It will be an exceptionally busy time for a lot of these businesses, and the FSA is providing extra support and advice to make sure they are well prepared to meet the challenge.”
Security at the Olympic Park will stop visitors from bringing their own food to the games, although people can refill their water bottles at water fountains.