food hygiene: fresh ratings

The Ivanhoe pub's food hygiene rating increases from 1 to 5... Celebrating are (from left).. Chef Michael Fletcher, waiter David Kaye, and manageress Laura Nicholson,'1126711b. 04/07/11.'Pic Kevin Allen.
The Ivanhoe pub's food hygiene rating increases from 1 to 5... Celebrating are (from left).. Chef Michael Fletcher, waiter David Kaye, and manageress Laura Nicholson,'1126711b. 04/07/11.'Pic Kevin Allen.

A NUMBER of businesses in Scarborough have seen their food hygiene ratings soar after a series of follow-up inspections.

In April the Evening News reported that checks had been carried out at 365 venues, with the majority scoring highly.

But a number of premises scored just one out of five, with Mist bar, in St Thomas Street, scoring zero.

The controversial ratings system was labelled “flawed” by a number of business owners, with many calling for another inspection to be carried out.

Mist was given a zero (urgent improvement necessary) after an inspection in November and has now been remarked with a four (good).

Landlord Tony Snow said: “Originally we did think the system was flawed. We were a clean environment at the time and we were under the impression we would get a higher score.

“But our customers have been loyal as they realised it was misleading.”

Mr Snow believes there was a lack of information about the ratings system at the time, which led to many establishments being scored unfairly.

He said: “It’s a system that can give somewhere with just a freezer and a microwave a five-star rating.

“This has caused confusion within the industry with some places now saying they’re a ‘five-star restaurant’ when they’re not.

“I think this has been very misleading for the public, but people are more aware of it now.”

Mr Snow added that Mist had been marked down on clerical issues, rather than hygiene, but the final rating does not make the details clear.

He also said that immediate action was taken at the time to put things right and that he is now working towards achieving a rating of five.

Another pub that has seen its score increase is the Ivanhoe in Burniston Road, which has been remarked from one to five.

Licensee Gary Nicholson said: “The original score of one was given when we took over last November.

“We immediately put things into action that were not in place at the time.”

The pub has had a full kitchen refit and has now achieved top marks.

Mr Nicholson said: “When we took over things weren’t up to standard, but they are now.

“Having the system in place is a good thing as it keeps standards up.”

Other premises with a significant change in their score include the Palm Court Hotel, Valley bar and East Ayton Lodge.

Steve Pogson, Scarborough Council’s health and community safety manager, said: “We believe the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is helping to drive up hygiene standards at food establishments throughout the borough and we are pleased to see that some businesses which obtained low ratings initially have since improved.

“This can only be a good thing for residents and visitors, who want to be assured that the food they purchase is produced, prepared and served in a safe and hygienic manner.

“The scheme provides an opportunity for businesses to request a revisit to re-rate the business where all matters that were of concern on the original inspection have been attended to. There are some restrictions however and businesses have been informed of these.”