Richmond restaurants' hygiene standards rated
More than 100 restaurants and shops in the borough have been told to carry out major improvements to their food hygiene standards.
The Food Standards Agency’s shocking figures revealed that inspectors gave 12 eateries and retailers in Richmond a score of zero out of five and ordered them to urgently clean up their act.
Of the rest, 153 got one star or two– which meant their hygiene was below the necessary standard - following visits over the past three years.
The stores and restaurants that scored zero include Belmont Bakers, in Heath Road, Twickenham, which was fined £10,000 last year after inspectors found dozens of mouse droppings.
Monzil Tandoori Restaurant, in Church Road, Barnes, also got the lowest mark, but owner Abdul Basith said it had since achieved a satisfactory rating.
He said: “She [the inspector] gave us some work to do before Christmas and came back to check the premises in February, she said she was happy with the standard.
“We just had to make sure we kept the place tidy and basically make sure all the areas were covered, not just the kitchen but the store room, the fixtures. Stuff like that was not correct.
“We had to get building work done and get things cemented up. We’ve done everything according to [the inspector], she is happy with it.”
Richmond Council, which sends safety officers to inspect restaurants, takeaways and pubs in the borough, switched to the Food Standards Agency’s rating system in April this year.
It hoped the nationwide scheme would allow diners eating out to easily learn about the hygiene standards at food outlets.
Beng Yeoh, manager of Shanghai Village, in York Street, Twickenham, said inspectors mistakenly gave his restaurant a zero and was due to upgrade it to a three.
He said: “The last inspection was in 2011, we had some issues then I have to admit, but it’s all been sorted out now.”
Catriona Stewart, head of the Food Standards Agency’s food hygiene ratings team, said: “About 1m people suffer from food poisoning every year, and our aim in introducing the food hygiene rating scheme is to reduce this number.
“We shouldn’t feel we are gambling with our health when we eat out, so the hygiene rating will give customers a glimpse into the areas they don’t normally see to get an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen, or behind the scenes.”