Shock for eateries over hygiene report

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A MAJOR new scheme has highlighted a number of eateries in the Whitby area which require “major improvements” to their hygiene standards.

The national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, administered by Scarborough Borough Council (SBC), provides consumers with at-a-glance information about hygiene standards within a business.

Local food businesses, which are subject to regular visits by council inspectors, are given a rating between five, which represents a high standard of compliance and zero, where urgent improvement was found to be necessary.

In inspections taking place the Whitby area over the last year, 10 businesses were classified a rating of one, meaning major improvements were required.

These premises were: Beachside Cafe on Battery Parade; Esplanade Hotel on the Esplanade; Heather Dene Hotel in Goathland; Jane’s Kitchen in Sandgate; La Rosa Hotel on East Terrace; Long Kings Chinese Restaurant at the Metropole Hotel; Middle Earth Tavern in Church Street; Pier Inn in Pier Road; Whitby Fishermen’s Society Football Club at The Cragg and Xtra Express in Mount Farm Close.

Jane’s Kitchen has since received a rating of five in an inspection that took place on 6 April of this year.

Steve Pogson, SBC’s health and community safety manager, said: “If anyone gets a rating at the bottom end of the scale then there are things for them to do to comply with food hygiene regulations.

“We will advise them on the contraventions and give them a time in which to comply. If they don’t comply you can move to a formal hygiene improvement notice and if they do not comply with that then they can be prosecuted for non-compliance.

“We have got these powers but we would much prefer to work with businesses to get the improvements that are needed.”

To help introduce businesses to the new scheme, SBC ran a number of workshops for food businesses across the borough, with more than 350 businesses represented.

While some establishments received poor ratings, more than 70 eateries in the Whitby area achieved a rating of five, the highest available and they will be able to display this fact to the public.

Each food business that receives a rating will be issued with a sticker and a certificate showing their rating.

Ratings will also be published at www.food.gov.uk/ratings, where individuals can search for a specific business.

Mr Pogson added: “We have made an easily understood system available for members of the public so they can, at a glance, find out what the standards are at the premises at which they eat.

“Not only will the scheme be useful for consumers, we also believe it will eventually lead to improved hygiene standards across the sector.

“Good food hygiene is therefore good for business.”

The scheme is ongoing and will eventually encompass every business where food is served to the public.

The scheme covers most businesses that supply food directly to consumers, including: restaurants, shops, cafes, takeaways, delicatessens, care homes, hotels and pubs.

SBC also operates a risk-based approach to inspections, so those with poorer ratings will be subject to more frequent visits. The scheme as been developed by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with local authorities and food business representatives.

l Are you one of the businesses affected by these ratings? Contact the Gazette by emailing editorial@whitbygazette.co.uk or call (01947) 829910.