Serving up a second course of ratings

CATERING businesses around Whitby are celebrating after seeing their food hygiene ratings soar following a new round of inspections.

In April the Gazette reported how a number of food outlets had received poor ratings in a new hygiene scheme, with some businesses criticising the “misleading” assessment methods.

At the time of publishing the results online, Jane’s Kitchen on Sandgate had already seen their rating boosted to five, the top score possible, and now other businesses have followed suit.

Steve Pogson, Scarborough Borough Council’s health and community safety manager, said: “We believe the food hygiene rating scheme is helping to drive up hygiene standards at food establishments and we are pleased to see that some businesses which obtained low ratings initially have since improved.

“This can only be a good thing for residents and visitors, who want to be assured that the food they purchase is produced, prepared and served in a safe and hygienic manner.

“The scheme provides an opportunity for businesses to request a revisit to re-rate the business where all matters that were of concern on the original inspection have been attended to.

“There are some restrictions however and businesses have been informed of these.”

Eight businesses in the Whitby area have seen their ratings improve to the maximum score available, including the Heatherdene Hotel in Goathland.

The establishment initially scored a one, meaning major improvements were necessary, but owner Jill Scaife said this highlights the failings of the scheme.

“It’s a very strange scheme to get your head around”, she said, “We found out it was just a paperwork issue.”

“As far as the structure and hygiene we’re top marks, but instead of highlighting that they just marked us right down.”

Despite having top notch hygiene facilities the hotel received a low grade as they had failed to keep regular fridge temperature readings.

With this rectified they have now been awarded top marks.

Mrs Scaife added: “We have five staff here who are award holders, so we are not going to work our backsides off and then let other things slip.

“It’s not very nice for local people to see it and think we are not up to standard.

“It’s all a bit of a farce really and the fact that you can go from a one to a five so easily doesn’t give me a lot of confidence in the scheme.”

Businesses that were re-assessed: (Original score) New score

Boulmer Guest House, Whitby: (3) 5

Browns, Robin Hood’s Bay: (1) 5

The Haven, Whitby: (4) 5

Heather Dene Hotel, Whitby: (1) 5

Jane’s Kitchen, Whitby: (1) 5

Java, Whitby: (3) 3

John Bull, Whitby: (2) 5

Ruswarp Hall Hotel: (4) 5

Sandpiper, Whitby: (2) 5