Seven Preston businesses have been landed the worst possible hygiene ratings by council inspectors.
Standards at Bruccianis in Fishergate, Europa Delikatesy in Ribbleton Lane, Nasza Biedronka in New Hall Lane, New Friargate Social Club in Maudland Bank, Pound Box in Holme Slack Lane, Simon Dunn Chocolatier in Friargate and Stonka in New Hall Lane were so low that they were given the zero rating when inspected by environmental health officers from Preston Council.
The authority rates takeaways, restaurants and food providers, including pubs and clubs and food shops across the city, on behalf of the Food Standards Agency.
A further 34 places, which received one star ratings, have been criticised by inspectors and told they must make huge changes to meet standards.
There’s also 39 places that have been given a two star rating but hundreds more getting three, four or five star ratings.
It is disappointing to see any business rated as a zero. Business that are a zero, one or two, should be working towards a rating of three or above.Simon Neighbour, environmental health manager at Preston Council
Well-known city centre cafe Bruccianis has gone from five stars to zero stars following an inspection in February but bosses said they are appealing the rating.
Owner Chris Hoole said: “We are in an appeal situation. We dispute completely and utterly what they have said. An appeal has been lodged.”
And bosses at Simon Dunn Chocolatier said they have applied for a rescore - because the zero rating came at the start of the year when they had taken over the business.
They were given the rating on January 16.
Manager Tahir Gurjee explained: “We have applied for a rescore because it was under new ownership.
“We took over at the beginning of the year and it was all over the place. We have applied for a rescore to get a better score, it was to do with the lack of training and my food hygiene certificate hadn’t arrived.
“It was nothing to do with the actual food hygiene of the place. The inspector has come back to see how we have improved.”
Tayib Abir of Stonka in New Hall Lane said he had only just taken over and didn’t want to comment.
Stonka in New Hall Lane was given a zero rating on January 8 this year.
The Evening Post visited Pound Box in Holme Slack Lane - which currently has a Best One sign outside - but nobody was available for comment.
There was also no one available to comment at Europa Delikatesy in Ribbleton Lane.
A staff member at Nasza Biedronka in New Hall Lane said he didn’t know anything about the zero rating and told the Evening Post to contact the owner on a mobile number - but the number did not work.
Nobody from New Friargate Social Club was available prior to publication.
The scores on the doors food hygiene system was established in 2011 and in Preston council inspectors visit food premises and give a ratings out of five.
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.
Zero is given to businesses who need to make urgent improvements and the full marks are given to the places deemed ‘very good’.
Places given a five star rating include dozens of schools, care homes, hotels and village halls.
Eateries include Umbertos Fish & Chips, Villa at North End, Tino’s in Preston and Tasty Chinese Takeaway in Plungington Road.
Simon Neighbour, environmental health manager at Preston Council, said across the city the results were encouraging.
“Right now we are at 94.2 per cent broadly compliant which is great,” he said. “It is disappointing to see any business rated as a zero. Business that are a zero, one or two, should be working towards a rating of three or above.
“Nearly 50 per cent of businesses are rated as a five. That’s a brilliant success but my question is while most of our five rated don’t display their rating.
“I can’t help but wonder why a business would work hard to achieve the top rating and then not put that sticker in the window.”
It isn’t currently mandatory to display the stickers but the Food Standards Agency intends to make it so.
The environmental health team at Preston Council ran a project to help bring the zero, one and two star rated premises up to scratch.
Simon explained: “We got in touch with 30 businesses, 40 per cent responded to the letter which is high for a postal invite.
“20 per cent went up by two ratings, five per cent went up by one rating and 15 per cent didn’t go up but they are clear about what they need to do.”
The information is correct as of March 23 from the Food Standards Agency website.
For other star ratings in Preston, use the links below:-