In a previous post (11 March), I commented on the first food hygiene standard ratings given by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to Cardiff’s eateries. They provide a useful guide to consumers, but no specific information as to specific food hygiene infringements.
Today, Wales Online gives the ratings of some new and follow-up inspections, and reports on a Freedom of Information investigation that has revealed the actual reasons given for Cardiff’s zero food hygiene ratings.
Ratings are given from 0 (urgent improvement necessary) to 5 (very good). You may think that a low rating would be a bit of a wake-up call to improve your standards. Some of Cardiff’s establishments, such as The Plan, may have been a little unfortunate on their initial inspections and have quickly acted to improve procedures. Crumbs in the Morgan Arcade, for example, is now rated 5. However, a number of the city’s independent takeaway outlets have either shut up shop or gone on to score zero again after a repeat inspection.
Reasons given by inspectors for awarding zero-ratings include mouse-infestations, rotting food, meat and poultry kept at inappropriate temperatures, chefs not washing their hands, dirty cloths being used, and kitchens opening onto toilets. Among Cardiff’s worst food hygiene offenders (and selected reasons) are the Ocean Palace Chinese Takeaway in Riverside (thorough deep clean required), Sub 100 on City Road (hygiene training certificate displayed belonged to a cousin who worked in tanning salon over the road), Mazza in Adamsdown (mouldy food and dirty pans), Kaczunszka in Roath (rodent infestation), The Paddle Steamer in Butetown (generally poor cleaning) and Tony’s in Gabalfa (mice infestation and chef with poor knowledge of food hygiene).
This comes on the day that an outbreak of E.coli 0157 occurred in Cardiff, with at least seven people suffering from food poisoning (one in a serious condition). The Adonis Kebab House on City Road was closed as a precaution, as it appears to be linked to these cases. The premises were inspected by the FSA last month, and a food hygiene rating of 1 is to be awarded. E. coli is spread as a result of poor kitchen hygiene.
As a result of this latest food poisoning case, Wales is likely to become the first country where it is mandatory to display food standard hygiene rating certificates in restaurants and takeaways.
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Added on 28 Aug. Adonis Kebab House reopens: