Southsea restaurant loses pink burger case to Portsmouth City Council
An emergency ban on a Portsmouth restaurant serving burgers that were pink in the middle has been ruled lawful by a judge.
The temporary order was made against 6 oz Burgers by an officer from the city council between 17 April and 24 April.
He raised concerns about the eatery's cooking methods, food supply chain and the lack of a "properly validated food safety management system".
But its owners said the ban was unnecessary and its burgers were safe.
District Judge Anthony Callaway said the city council was alerted to possible "health risks" by the Food Standards Agency and the Tripadvisor website.
He said an environmental health officer made an "emergency hygiene prohibition notice" after finding a lack of information about the source of the meat and no satisfactory food safety procedure.
6oz Burgers challenged the order, arguing its burgers presented "no imminent risk to health".
But District Judge Callaway said he was satisfied it was justified, although he noted there had been "no allegations of illness" made against 6 oz Burgers.
Steve Wearne, from the Food Standards Agency, said if a business wanted to serve burgers which are "less than thoroughly cooked" then controls must be in place to ensure consumers were protected.
Restaurant owner James Baldry said a leading expert on food microbiology, Dr Slim Dinsdale, conducted an investigation into their supply chain, procedures and the safety of its burgers.
He said: "Dr Dinsdale provided the court with a report which confirmed our view that the pink burgers we sell at 6oz are of the highest quality and pose no risk to the public."
Mr Baldry added that he felt "very let down and frustrated by the way in which this matter was pursued by the council" and was considering appealing against the judgement.