Nationwide 'pizza check' debated
Since January 17 of this year, Yellow Rose pizzeria in the Vesterbro district has received 13 'Bad Smileys' in the Food Ministry's food inspection scheme and has been reported a dozen times to the police for breach of hygiene and food product laws. But somehow, it’s still serving its food products.
Opposition party Venstre (V) is now demanding that the food minister, Mette Gjerskov (Socialdemokraterne), take action. They want to see a "pizza check" of the entire pizza industry in Denmark.
“We want a pizza check. The minister must get Fødevarestyrelsen [the national food administration] to check and administer the general conditions in the pizza business," Venstre spokesman Erling Bonnesen told 24timer newspaper. “It’s completely grotesque and unbelievable that the pizzeria continues to mock the system and let down the users who trust the food supervising control.”
Bonnesen went on to demand statistics on the number of Bad Smileys and police reports that have been handed to pizzerias in 2011 and 2012.
But according to Rene Christensen (Dansk Folkeparti), the head of parliament’s food product council, Fødevarestyrelsen has acted correctly. Christensen, therefore, wants to tread carefully regarding any change.
“The minister has asked for an account of the remarks that Fødevarestyrelsen has given the pizzeria, which we need to look at closer,” Christensen told public broadcaster DR. “I don’t want to risk ruining something for 99 percent of the pizza places who act correctly just because one percent does not.”
By law, restaurants must hang their food product control reports up so they are visible to patrons, something Yellow Rose also failed to do.
But you can read the control reports yourself and see where the ‘Bad Smileys' are dished out at www.findsmiley.dk.