Some of Preston’s lowest-rated food outlets are to be given lessons in cleanliness in an effort to improve their hygiene ratings.
Takeaways, restaurants, market stalls, sandwich shops and even a school canteen are among nearly 30 outlets offered free ‘food hygiene coaching’ by Environmental Health officers.
Manzil Takeaway, in Adelphi Street, and Milanos, in Corporation Street, were among the lowest scoring premises in a list of 29 outlets.
Preston Council wrote to establishments with a history of poor inspection performance and Food Standards Agency (FSA) ratings of two or lower out of five.
It said it wanted to support and help them to avoid enforcement action under food hygiene regulations.
Simon Neighbour, the authority’s environmental health manager, said: “We want every establishment in Preston to be of a good standard and therefore we feel it is right to offer training to the establishments which are genuinely struggling.
“We have around 1,100 catering establishments, of which nearly half have the highest achievable rating of five, and more than 1,000 have a rating of three or above, indicating broad compliance or better.
“After the coaching, establishments can apply to be re-assessed and we expect an improvement to at least a rating of three.”
Manzil Takeaway, in Adelphi Street, and Milanos, in Corporation Street, were the lowest scoring premises in a list of 29 outlets targeted by Environmental Health officers. A zero out of five rating means urgent improvement is necessary.
The group of businesses, who have all failed to meet satisfactory food hygiene ratings, also includes the two-star rated St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, in St Austin’s Place, where improvement is necessary.
The list is based on inspections carried out by the council on behalf of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
They are based on three things – food preparation and storage, the state of the building the food is prepared in, and how those processes are managed by bosses.
In December last year Environmental Health officers drew up a list of 42 businesses which had only managed two out of five scores.
They then wrote to their owners on January 3, informing them that the council was willing to try and help them avoid prosecution or closure.
Simon Neighbour, Environmental Health manager at Preston Council, said: “More than 93 per cent of Preston food businesses are now broadly complaint, which is a great result and reflects the hard work of the vast majority of Preston food businesses.
“For the remaining seven per cent, our usual approach has not, to date, managed to secure an improvement in standards which the business has been able to maintain.
“This innovative approach is being trialled in an attempt to assist businesses to make improvements without resorting to more costly prosecutions.
“Of course, if these few remaining businesses do not improve to at least a rating of three, or where standards are found to result in a rating of only one or even zero, then formal action has been, and will continue to be taken.”
Since December a handful of the businesses have improved their rating, but others have slipped to one or zero.
The Evening Post left messages with Manzil Takeaway and Milanos, two zero-rated outlets, but did not receive a reply.
St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School declined to comment on whether it would be accepting the offer of coaching.
Mr Neighbour said some of the remaining establishments were not included on this list because they are due an inspection in the near future.
Others were left out because language difficulties mean the council will be approaching them separately as part of a project being run with the FSA. It will be providing coaching with inspectors who can speak in a range of languages in a scheme due to start later this month.
Eventually all premises rated two out of five or lower will have been offered the support.
The establishments which take part in the free coaching will be revisited within three months of a written request by the business and then again, 12 months later, to see how they have progressed.
Mr Neighbour said: “Preston can be known for its food establishments that meet a good standard and in turn it will bring people to the city.”
The food outlets contacted under the scheme, whose scores are in brackets, are:
Al-Quds - 143 Manchester Road (2)
Chesters - 87 Moor Lane (2)
Cinnamon Spice - 55 Water Lane (2)
Cocos Mediterranean - 88 Friargate (2)
DDs Road Chef - A6 (2)
Deepdale Tandoori - 73 Meadow Street (2)
Don Mario - 49 Blackpool Road (2)
Hot Wok - 41 Blackpool Road (2)
Hungarian Foodmarket - Unit 61-63 Market Hall (1)
La Pizza - 90 Friargate (1)
Manzil Takeaway - 22-24 Adelphi Street (0)
Milanos - 19 Corporation Street (0)
Preston Sweet Centre & Takeaway - 246 New Hall Lane (2)
Price Saver Off Licence & Convenience Store - 6 Lancaster Road (1)
Rylede’s Lunch Box - Unit 6 Rough Hey Industrial Estate (1)
Sandos - 123-124 Church Street (2)
Sharoe Green Take Away - 4 Sharoe Green Lane (2)
Spice Lounge - 393 Blackpool Road (2)
Spice Village - 121-122 Church Street (2)
St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School - St Austin’s Place (2)
Thai Royal - 99 Friargate (2)
Tung Lok - 152 Miller Road (2)
Yangs Chinese - 58 Meadow Street (2)