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‘Pink burger’ bar closes its doors

Katie Coyne24/01/2019 - 14:35

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Restaurant at centre of 'pink' burger case closes
Restaurant at centre of 'pink' burger case closes

A burger joint that fought and lost a court case to serve rare burgers has closed its doors saying the legal bid has made the businesses financially unviable.

6oz Burgers in Southsea, Portsmouth, lost a court battle to serve ‘pink’ burgers against Portsmouth City Council in 2015.

This resulted in the restaurant being ordered to pay the council’s court costs of £25,000 in addition to its own court fees in the region of £100,000.

In 2014 the council’s environmental health officers placed an emergency hygiene notice on the restaurant because it did not have a proper system to ensure the undercooked burgers were safe.

The restaurant stopped selling rare burgers and the council lifted the notice. However, the business then challenged the basis of the notice in court.

The owners of the restaurant, Piotr Mientkiewicz and James Baldry, who will continue to run another restaurant nearby, posted on their Facebook page: ‘It is with great sadness to announce that 6oz has closed its doors for good this week.

‘A number of factors – most notably the “pink burger” court case which we fought and lost against Portsmouth City Council – has meant that the business is no longer financially viable.’

The comments section has attracted criticism of the council.

After the court case district judge Anthony Callaway wrote in his ruling: ‘The court is satisfied that the prohibition was justified and that a health risk condition was fulfilled in respect of the food business, here 6oz Burgers at the time when the notice was served.’ 

While other eateries have been allowed to continue to serve undercooked burgers the case against 6oz centred around there not being a detail around its mince supply chain to show that the meat had not come into contact with any bacteria prior to being made into burgers.

If the restaurant had been able to show validated food safety systems in place, it could have continued serving the undercooked burgers. Subsequently to the court case the FSA has issued guidance on how establishments can safely serve pink burgers.

The Food Standards Agency also provides guidance for the public advising on how to cook burgerssafely, which also explains the safety implications of serving ‘rare’ burgers compared to rare steak.

Portsmouth Council refused to comment but following the court case it said it was simply following the FSA's advice to take action against businesses serving undercooked meat, to protect public health.

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