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Food firms fail to meet hygiene standards

PUBLISHED: 15:53 26 December 2019 | UPDATED: 15:53 26 December 2019

Lowestoft Butchers, on London Road South, Lowestoft. Picture: Archant

Lowestoft Butchers, on London Road South, Lowestoft. Picture: Archant

Archant

Almost 200 businesses across Norfolk and Waveney have been told they must clean up their act over food hygiene.

The food hygiene ratings scheme gives businesses a score from zero, where urgent improvement is required, to five, where standards are very good.

Around 9,000 businesses across Norfolk and Waveney are rated three, where hygiene standards are generally satisfactory, or above. But ratings below three indicate improvement is required at the business.

Across the county, King's Lynn and West Norfolk has the most zero ratings, three, with all having been inspected since June.

The trio include the Whitehouse service station on Lynn Road, Gayton, which was criticised in July for its handling of food and the cleanliness of the building. Staff at the time said standards had improved.

Snak Shak on the A140 between Newton Flotman and Tasburgh which was given a zero food hygiene rating. Picture: Simon ParkinSnak Shak on the A140 between Newton Flotman and Tasburgh which was given a zero food hygiene rating. Picture: Simon Parkin

The district also has 16 one ratings and 19 two ratings among their 1,485 registered businesses.

South Norfolk currently has two zero ratings, including the Snak Shak burger van on the A140 which was inspected in February, with owner Janet Spragg saying the van was clean, but that inspectors "were just not happy with the flooring that was down and the covering on the walls".

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However, the district is among the lowest in Norfolk for failing hygiene standards, with just 0.82pc of the 980 registered businesses requiring improvement. Hygiene standards in Broadland, however, are the best in the county, with just three one ratings and two two ratings among its 933 businesses.

Broadland is one of three districts with no zero ratings, along with Breckland and Norwich.

In Waveney, Lowestoft Butchers was handed a zero-star rating in June after inspectors found the business was operating without registration, with fridges turned off at night and opened jars on sale. It remains the only zero rating in east Suffolk., which also has 10 one ratings and 20 two scores. Similarly, Great Yarmouth has one zero-rated business, with 12 ones and 10 twos among their 1,034 ratings.

North Norfolk also only has one zero rating, with J W H Jonas in Cromer having been inspected in May. However, the fishmongers has recently been reinspected and a new rating is expected to be published by the Food Standards Agency in the coming weeks.

The district also has 10 one ratings and 22 two ratings among their 1,732 businesses.

Whitehouse Service Station in Gayton, near King's Lynn  Picture: GoogleWhitehouse Service Station in Gayton, near King's Lynn Picture: Google

The scheme is ran by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with the local authority, with inspections covering how food is handled, stored, managed and prepared, and the cleanliness of facilities.

It does not cover the quality of food, customer service, culinary skill, presentation or comfort.

Ratings are given to places where food is supplied, sold or consumed, although businesses that are deemed low risk, such as newsagents, or childminders and businesses offering caring services at home are exempt from the scheme.


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