25 September 2000
Half of butchers lack trading licence

ONLY half of British butchers have obtained a licence which will allow them to continue trading, reports The Times.

Any businesses which sell raw meat and ready-to-eat foods will receive a licence after training in new hygiene rules, and have their premises inspected annually.

Around 6000 of the countrys 12,000 butchers have obtained the new hygiene licence.

A further 2000 have had hygiene training but not the inspection.

Butchers who fail to obtain a licence to trade by 1 November face a 5000 fine and the possible closure of their premises.

Licences, which must be renewed annually, cost 100 and training is 250.

New standards were introduced to prevent outbreaks of E.coli through cross-contamination between raw and cooked food.