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More Trouble for Katsouris’ Food Plants - 04/06/2007
 
Food factories that have “blighted the lives of people living nearby for years with the stench of ‘hot sick’ and onions could be sued by residents” (Sickened by smells from food plants, Ealing Gazette 01 June 2007). The name of Katsouris is already in bad odor after recalls of products such as houmous suspected of being contaminated with salmonella, which has prompted a rigorous investigation by Tesco of a factory that has been supplying several supermarkets.
Food factories that have “blighted the lives of people living nearby for years with the stench of ‘hot sick’ and onions could be sued by residents” (Sickened by smells from food plants, Ealing Gazette 01 June 2007). The name of Katsouris is already in bad odor after recalls of products such as houmous suspected of being contaminated with salmonella, which has prompted a rigorous investigation by Tesco of a factory that has been supplying several supermarkets.



Campaigners in West Twyford against Katsouris Fresh Foods – formerly owned by Ealing millionaire Tony Yerolemou – and Kolak Snack Foods have set up an action group and served papers to get an injunction to close the culprits down until the smells stop. Homeowners in a north-north-east wind complaining of the onion and vegetable casserole smell from Katsouris that blows up the avenue. “With an easterly wind you get the hot fat and oil smell from Kolak in Elvedon Road. You can see the vapors coming off – it smells of hot sick. Some days we can’t put washing out – it feels like hot fat is dripping into the garden”, says one complaining resident.


The complainants have engaged a firm of “specialist environmental lawyers, Hugh James solicitors, after becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of results form the action by Ealing Council and reading in the Gazette last year about a similar situation at Spurway Food in Greenford”. The town hall has served abatement notices on all 3 factories.

Katsouris have spent thousands of pounds installing an odor-control plant at its Elvedon Road site. An odor-scientist has been appointed to investigate further measures. It seems likely that Katsouris will install another odor-control plant in the Abbey Road site this month. However, strong smells are still reaching “as far as Huxley Gardens”.

Ealing Council’s head of residential services, Kevin Thompson, says: “We will continue to work with all parties and consider all options for further improving the situation and consider further legal action if appropriate.”

A Katsouris spokesman says: “As a major local employer Katsouris takes its community responsibilities extremely seriously and considers it has an open and positive dialogue with local residents. At the 2 factories in question we have various odor-control measures in place and these are subject to continuous monitoring in place and review as to their effectiveness. In view of alleged claims raised by local residents we are unable to comment further at this time.”

Kolak was contacted by the Gazette and denied that the smell came from its factory.

We note that a major Tesco supermarket in Perivale, which is not far from the site of these complaints, is now selling houmous and tahina dips in glass bottles rather than plastic tubs with a cardboard sleeve. Most supermarkets also sell the ingredients for home-made houmous.

It is only 2,5 weeks to midsummer day and salad days, bagged products, are being sold washed and unwashed, and organic or not – and fresh or rapidly liable to deterioration when the pillow bags are opened. Time therefore to take precautions to avoid food-borne diseases and lack of care in picnics, at barbeques, and dining al fresco, as well as in the kitchen. Staphylococci, salmonellas, campylobacteria, Ecoli, listeria and psittacosis pose their usual bacterial threats; and risks from avian flu and other viral and tick-borne infections persist.
 
 
 

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