Zero rating food finds unveiled
- Credit: Archant
FLIES ‘crawling in flour storage bins’, bowls of food scattered on kitchen floors and ‘filthy’ premises were among the stomach-churning finds by North Somerset health inspectors during visits to some of the area’s eateries in 2014.
During the year, a total of four restaurants and one Portishead care home were handed down the Food Standards Agency’s lowest hygiene score, a zero out of five star rating, meaning ‘urgent improvement’ was necessary.
Haven Lodge Care Home in Harbour Road, Portishead, Britannia Spice in Dark Lane, Backwell, Bangla in The Triangle, Clevedon, Star Pizza in Avon Way, Portishead and Mezze at The Anchor in Ham Green, Pill, were all given the worst possible rating by North Somerset inspectors during 2014 during routine visits.
No hygiene certificates were found for ‘any food handlers’ at Indian restaurant Bangla during a routine check, while chefs preparing meals did not wash their hands after handling raw meat or before working with ready to eat food.
At the Britannia Spice Indian restaurant in Backwell, inspectors found the eatery’s Tandoor chef had ‘no idea’ of the hazards customers were being exposed to because of ‘poor handling’ of raw and ready-to-eat chicken, and intervened when cheese was placed ‘directly onto a raw meat board’. Raw food was also stored on the same shelf as ready-to-eat food in the kitchen’s fridge.
The restaurant’s manager, Mohammed Miah, told the Times he and his staff had ‘worked hard’ to improve their rating.
He said: “Since these issues came about, we have been working hard and were awarded a four-star rating by the Food Standards Agency. They have visited us recently again. The health inspector came to the restaurant and trained everybody, and all staff have now got at least a level two hygiene certificate.”
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At Haven Lodge Care Home in Portishead, pureed food prepared for residents was found to be at ‘risk of contamination’, while the kitchen was found to be ‘filthy’ with ‘no or inadequate’ hand washing undertaken by staff.
At Mezze at The Anchor, which has since rebranded under new ownership, inspectors found food ‘unfit for human consumption’ was being sold, with food stored past use-by dates and witnessed ‘in various states of deterioration’.
At takeaway Star Pizza, flies were seen in dry flour which had been made into pizza dough, with ‘live insects and arachnids’ found in stored food, and poor cleaning observed throughout the eatery’s preparation area.
Of the premises, Haven Lodge has since been awarded a three-star rating, Bangla has been awarded a five-star rating and Britannia Spice four stars. Mezze at The Anchor has been rebranded under new ownership, while Star Pizza has closed.
The Times made efforts to contact all proprietors of premises given zero-star ratings during 2014, but had been unable to receive a comment unless stated.