Two Fylde food businesses were told to make immediate improvements after getting the lowest possible food hygiene rating.
Elswick Fish and Chip Shop in Roseacre Drive, Elswick and Wayne’s Hatch in Boundary Lane, Lytham were both handed a zero rating in the latest list from the Food Standards Agency, meaning urgent improvement was necessary.
For all star ratings for Fylde borough, use the links below:-
It’s ironic really as we have Michelin starred chefs coming to us to see how our state-of-the-art kitchens are runJayne Taylor
The Agency has released its latest ratings after council public health inspectors submitted the results of their visits.
The figures show that 60 of the 598 eating places in Fylde borough were said to be below satisfactory with a zero to two rating.
Just two had a zero rating for hygiene, meaning that urgent improvement is necessary, 25 had a rating of just one and 33 a rating of two.
However, 89.9 per cent of places serving food were rated satisfactory or better, meaning that most Fylde food outlets made the grade.
A total of 63 made the satisfactory grade with a three rating, 149 made the good grade and 326 had the very good rating, grade five.
No-one was available for comment from the Elswick Fish and Chips shop but Wayne Blundell from Wayne’s Hatch explained that work was carried out straight after the rating inspection and had been passed.
He said: “We had a few issues with the paperwork and with structural issues.
“The inspector said that our storage area which we thought had wipe-clean surfaces, was not classed as wipe- clean. We replaced it with a stainless steel one and she came back and passed it. But we have been waiting three months for a return rating visit.
“The ratings are important for people’s peace of mind but they are not necessarily to do with the quality of food being served. Quite often it’s to do with the book work.”
Among those who got a one star was highly rated food establishment The Villa at Wrea Green.
General Manager Jayne Taylor said they took hygiene issues extremely seriously but the issue was due to the compliance forms the kitchen team have to fill in rather than cleanliness issues.
She said: “The inspector came on January 5 right after the busy Christmas period when we had more than 6,000 through our doors.
“We had just had a huge party in the night before and some of the paperwork had not been kept up to date.
“It’s ironic really as we have Michelin starred chefs coming to us to see how our state-of-the-art kitchens are run.
“It was very unfortunate for us. In the past we have always had three and four star ratings, but we have made the changes and registered for a return visit and are very hopeful of getting back to our normal rating.”
One of those who got the highest rating of five stars was Silverdell in Poulton Street, Kirkham.
Owner Elaine Silverwood said: “I certainly take notice of hygiene ratings when I go to another food establishment and find myself looking round for their certificate.
“Those that have five stars are usually more than happy to display it.
“You have to use it to your advantage and it is something to be proud of. It is about teamwork. We don’t keep our standards high just to secure the rating, it is important to have high standards generally in business. I am one of the few businesses in town to sweep outside the business every morning!”
Another business with a good rating is Dizzy Ducks of Wrea Green.
Owner Sharon Dooley said she was pleased with the rating and praised her staff. She said: “It is very important but I wonder how many members of the public check the FSA website for ratings. I do personally when I am going anywhere to eat.
“These inspections are put in place to make businesses better not to destroy them and I think that is something owners should take to heart.
“The environmental health officers have to work very hard to cover all the businesses and I believe they don’t have a lot of staff. When they are here they are very thorough and it can take one and a half hours to go through everything so you can see it is quite a job.”
A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “We are pleased with the figures. We conducted 598 safety checks and 538 have got three four and five stars – virtually 90 per cent.
We take these very seriously, food safety is paramount.
“We are not complacent however, and will be carrying on checking and for those zero, one and two star establishments we will prioritise visits and carry out enforcement action when necessary.
“In the past year we have prosecuted four that have failed to meet the standards and will continue as necessary in future.
“People can eat out on the Fylde with confidence and we have some very high quality food businesses which adhere to the highest standards.”