Gourmet city restaurant gets one-star food hygiene rating

The Last Wine Bar and Restaurant partner James Sawrey-Cookson (left) and Ecky Limon. Picture: Newman

The Last Wine Bar and Restaurant partner James Sawrey-Cookson (left) and Ecky Limon. Picture: Newman Associates PR - Credit: Supplied

A gourmet restaurant in Norwich has blamed a poor inspection result on record keeping, after receiving one star in its latest food hygiene rating.

The Last Wine Bar, on St George's Street, was given the second lowest rating available when inspected by Norwich City Council in June.

Despite inspectors praising the food hygiene standards of the venue, it was rated just one out of five.

James Sawrey-Cookson, partner in the Last Wine Bar, said: 'We are naturally disappointed with the result of our most recent inspection. While we accept all of the comments in the report, we do not feel the overall rating is a fair reflection of the hygiene standards in our kitchens.'

The council's inspector recorded a number of contraventions in the restaurant's kitchen, including a chef wiping a knife on a dirty tea towel - though these were described as 'minor'.

The Last wine bar and restaurant.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Last wine bar and restaurant.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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However, the inspector said owners were unable to provide paperwork demonstrating how the restaurant keeps track of its food safety measures.

They also judged the restaurant's cleaning, sanitation and maintenance as 'poor'.

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Mr Sawrey-Cookson added: 'We have to hold our hands up to not being able to provide the inspector with all of the appropriate paperwork on the day of the inspection, due to our offices being packed up and in the process of moving.

'Unfortunately, the inspection came just as we embark on a major refurbishment of our kitchen.

'Had the inspector come a month later, many of the issues outlined in the 'structure and cleaning' section of the report would already have been resolved.'

In this section, the inspector raised concerns about the cleanliness of several areas in the kitchen, including around sinks.

Mr Sawrey-Cookson added: 'The inspector recognises in their report that our 'food hygiene standards are high'. It is our record-keeping which is the issue.

'We have to take this report on the chin and we are seeking the earliest possible re-inspection, at which we are confident our former high rating will be restored.

'In the meantime, we will continue to operate the high standards recognised in the report.'

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