Jamie’s Rotherham flagship in war on junk food closes after health and safety visit

Jamie's Ministry of Food in Rotherham. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Jamie's Ministry of Food in Rotherham. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
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IT was established to teach people how to cook and pass on healthy eating habits.

But five years after it opened its doors in Rotherham, Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food shop has been temporarily closed.

Rotherham hit the headlines in 2006 when mothers of children at Rawmarsh Comprehensive School posted fast food to pupils through the fence.

But Oliver set up the Ministry of Food two years later, with the aim of being able to show people how to cook tasty, healthy meals.

More than 10,000 people have visited the premises in the past five years.

But the seven members of staff, who said they had complained about faulty equipment, were left stunned on Wednesday this week after being told the centre was to close immediately following a health and safety inspection.

The Ministry of Food had been funded by Rotherham Council in the past, before becoming a social enterprise in 2011.

Other Ministry outlets were set up in Bradford, Leeds, Newcastle, Alnwick and east London.

One employee claimed they had been let down by the board of directors and the council.

Lee Simpson, branch convenor of the GMB union, said the council had told him it was a temporary measure because of the unsuitability of the premises.

A message on the Ministry of Food website says Rotherham Council confirmed that the centre has had to temporarily close to allow for a review of the premises.

A council spokesman said: “As the welfare of the staff and the public is our main priority, the shop has been closed to enable a full survey of the premises to be carried out.

“This is to ensure that the building continues to be suitable to run the Jamie’s Ministry of Food cooking programme.

“The seven staff and the trade unions have obviously been consulted.

“Rotherham Council are working with the Jamie Oliver Foundation so that the centre can reopen at the earliest opportunity.”