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Staff at restaurant hit with low food hygiene rating found not washing hands

PUBLISHED: 12:32 31 January 2020 | UPDATED: 09:12 01 February 2020

Spice Lounge in Wensum Street have worked hard to turn their food hygiene rating around. Photo: Paul Hewitt

Spice Lounge in Wensum Street have worked hard to turn their food hygiene rating around. Photo: Paul Hewitt

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An established city centre restaurant has been given a one-star food rating after staff were found to not be washing their hands regularly.

Spice Lounge on Wensum Street, in Norwich, was handed the rating during a Norwich City Council food hygiene inspection on December 19.

The report listed 16 types of equipment or food contacts surfaces that were dirty and needed cleaning, including food storage containers, spice containers, a can opener and a dishwasher tray.

Cross-contamination from exposed ready-to-eat food was another concern highlighted in the report.

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Inspectors found uncovered food, such as raw chicken, stored directly below cleaning chemicals and in the storeroom with a door open.

The report said a revisit had been planned as some staff were not suitably trained in food hygiene, adding the current food safety management system was not good enough.

They also said the restaurant was failing to manage allergens such as nuts, gluten and milk.

Diners had not been informed of the risk of cross-contamination with allergens, and they were not being labelled in prepared food.

The report also said staff were not washing their hands and one employee was wearing dirty shoes during the inspection.

It said: "The wash-hand basin was not in regular use. Regular hand washing is important for personal cleanliness. Remind all food handlers of the need to wash their hands before starting or returning to work, and specifically - after using the toilet,after handling rubbish, after smoking, after taking a break and after handling raw food."

However, inspectors praised the cleanliness of the restaurant's premises.

MORE: Raw chicken defrosted on floor and ill food handlers - takeaway given zero food hygiene score

The report said: "I was pleased that cleaning materials, methods and equipment were able to minimise the spread of harmful bacteria between surfaces."

Towfiqur Arhman Lucky, manager of Spice Lounge, said: "The inspectors came at a busy time and two people were unwell. I want to reassure all customers that the restaurant is now perfect.

"It is now better than anywhere else I think, we have done lots of work and we have been training all the staff for the past two weeks."

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