Hygiene ratings: a mixed reaction

THE OWNERS of food businesses in Scarborough have given their reaction to a new food rating system.

The data, which has been published by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with Scarborough Council, showed a wide disparity in the town, as reported on yesterday’s front page. The vast majority of businesses surveyed received ratings of four and five, meaning they are classed as good or very good.

Of the 365 venues and providers surveyed, 155 were rated in the top category and 120 got a rating of four out of five. A further 32 were scored three out of five, meaning they were generally satisfactory.

Michael Mort is the owner of Emma’s Coffee Lounge in Huntriss Row, which achieved top marks. He said: “It’s hats off to the staff for all the hard work they do. We work closely with environmental health on maintaining standards of food hygiene.

“Personally I think it is a very good scheme. Anything that drives up standards has to be a good thing.”

Marvin Smith, who owns the fish and chip shop, waffle and doughnut bar, the Tea Pot and a burger and ice cream bar in the East Pier, got top ratings for all of his businesses, which he owns with wife Julie. “We’re glad it has come into force,” he said. “It points out the people who are doing things right.”

However other business owners have pointed out flaws in the system.

The Ivanhoe Hotel in Scalby Mills Road is given a rating of one out of five on the Food Standards Agency website, despite the fact that it has since achieved a five out of five rating – and has a certificate from November that proves it.

Gary Nicholson, landlord of The Ivanhoe Hotel, said he requested a new inspection when he took over the venue.

“When I took it on there were no management procedures,” he said.

“We’ve since had the kitchen re-done and all of our chefs are fully trained.”

Scarborough Hospital yesterday moved to reassure the public, after they achieved a rating of two out of five.

Director of facilities James Hayward said: “In order to address issues highlighted by the council’s routine inspection, major refurbishment work will commence in our kitchen on Monday to undertake repairs to the floor and skirting boards.”