Food for thought as almost one in 10 Fenland businesses fail to meet acceptable hygiene standards

Inguna Smyde owner of Loafers, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams.

Inguna Smyde owner of Loafers, Wisbech. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Almost one in 10 food places in Fenland are failing to meet acceptable hygiene standards, we can reveal.

Loafers, in Wisbech, has a five star rating.

Loafers, in Wisbech, has a five star rating. - Credit: Archant

A study of more than 60 inspections carried out this year for the Food Standards Agency’s rating system has found that, while more than half have received the highest score possible, some are still failing to take the issue seriously enough.

Millions of pounds are spent in our eateries every single year and local authorities are tasked with carrying out spot-checks to make sure the food is served and prepared to acceptable hygiene standards.

Five years ago, the Food Standards Agency introduced a nationally standardised rating scheme, from zero to five stars, and took the step of not only publishing the rating, but the report as well.

Hygiene bosses say this has dramatically reduced the number of places failing to meet standards.

Five stars: Keshco in Victory Avenue, Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams.

Five stars: Keshco in Victory Avenue, Whittlesey. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant


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In Fenland 66 places have been inspected so far this year. None of them received a zero-rating but nine per cent were found to be below the acceptable standard and scored a rating of either one or two.

Some 56 per cent received a perfect five-star rating, however, and the average across the district was 4.2.

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All of the hospitals, carer and childcare businesses tested so far this year have scored five stars with mobile caterers closely behind, scoring an average of 4.9.

The worst area was takeaways and sandwich shops, with an average of 3.3. Of the six places inspected in 2015, two scored less than three out of five – the mark considered satisfactory.

The Empire, in Wisbech, also has a five star rating. Picture: Steve Williams.

The Empire, in Wisbech, also has a five star rating. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Businesses scoring a maximum five stars in Wisbech include Mendi’s, The Gallery, Loafers Coffee Shop, Mosty Bella Pizza and Blackberries nursery.

Inguna Smyde, of Loafers, said: “It’s really great. We’re so pleased to have been given such a high rating.”

Other places receiving a five-star rating include the Causeway B&B and Tesco family restaurant in March, Swan House in Chatteris and Manea Stores.

Keshco, in Whittlesey, was one of several retailers to receive five stars. Manager Jamie Keshwari said: “I’m really pleased that all of the staff have chipped in and am thankful for the customers as well.”

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