Restaurants can continue to serve beefburgers cooked rare after a judge rejected a ruling by Westminster City Council that the practice was unsafe.
Westminster City Council was backed by the Food Standards Agency in its decision to serve an improvement notice on wine bar and restaurant chain Davy's amid concerns about the way in which one of the company's branches served burgers.
The council wanted Davy's beef supplier to sear and shave the outside of whole cuts of meat to remove harmful bacteria. But Davy's argued that its supplier could be trusted to provide beef that was safe.
Davy's appealed against the decision and district judge Elizabeth Roscoe found in its favour.
"There is a balance to be struck between ensuring the safety of the public and allowing them the freedom of choice that they would wish and have a right to expect," the judge said.
Westminster City Council's food health and safety manager, James Armitage, said: "We are working with this restaurant, as we already have done with a number of others, to ensure that rare burgers are kept on the menu, and in a way that restaurants do not run the risk of giving E. Coli to any customers."