CIEH statement on BBC coffee shop investigation

Publication Date: 28th June 2017

Subject: Food safety

Following reports of poor hygiene standards within coffee shops after a BBC investigation, Tony Lewis, CIEH’s Head of Policy, said: 

“The law is clear: food businesses are primarily responsible for ensuring the food they prepare and sell is safe. All food businesses should have the correct procedures in place so they meet the necessary standards to ensure that this type of thing does not happen.

“However, the stores sampled as part of the BBC’s investigation appear to be failing to ensure food safety standards in respect of their management systems. This is very serious and requires immediate attention.

“But it is important that those of us who enjoy our coffee and particular our iced drinks during the summer, do not panic. The issues identified in this case came from an extremely small sample and we have no reason to suspect that these findings will be the same everywhere.

“What we can guarantee is that both the businesses and environmental health teams will be taking these findings extremely seriously. For those coffee shops who have been identified during the BBC’s investigation, we recommend an urgent and thorough review of their food safety procedures, whilst investing in training for all their staff so they are reminded of their responsibility to ensure good hygiene.”


Notes to editors 

For CIEH enquiries, please contact Steven Fifer on: 020 7827 5922 or email

About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):   

CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing over 7,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved. 

Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.  

For more information visit and follow CIEH on Twitter @The_CIEH



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