Almost half of Birmingham Christmas Market food stalls failed first hygiene inspection

Nearly half of the food and drink stalls at Birmingham’s German market failed a hygiene inspection the first time around, the council has revealed.

Birmingham Christmas Market in the city centre
Birmingham Christmas Market in the city centre

Twenty-two of the 39 stalls visited did pass but the remaining 17 only had minor issues which were quickly resolved with no real incidents of concern noted by inspectors.

Birmingham’s German Christmas market is an annual tradition which sees people from around the country flock to the city to enjoy the festivities, although last year’s event was cancelled over Covid concerns.

There are around 56 stalls at the market, which is open 10am to 9pm every day until Christmas, with stalls offering everything from ornaments and decorations to festive foods.

It is these food stalls that were subject to a visit from Environmental Health earlier this year, with encouraging results across the board.

“Environmental Health officers visited the 39 stalls selling food and drink products on this Frankfurt Christmas Market on November 4, 2021, before the market opened to the public,” a spokesperson for the council said.

“Of those, 22 stalls passed their inspections on first visit and 14 had minor matters which were cleared when revisited later that day, due to issues around pest proofing, paperwork, allergen information and temperature control.

“Three remaining premises were revisited for allergen labelling/pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) matters – which is covered by new legislation only applicable in the UK - so some businesses were unprepared.

“These were resolved either by labelling or removing PPDS products from sale.”

There are around a third fewer stalls at this year’s market than in previous years, with Covid meaning there are just 56 stalls at this year’s event compared to more than 80 in 2019.

Birmingham’s market was listed as one of the top markets in the world to visit this festive season by the Telegraph, with the council previously estimating that around five million people visit the city each year to see the market.

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