Fish shops celebrate after scooping national award

From left,  Russ Wood, owner of The Lamp Room, quality award assessor Eleanor Nicholls, David Gill, owner of Gills Fry Fry Ltd, and Gus Dulai of Dulai's enterprise.

From left, Russ Wood, owner of The Lamp Room, quality award assessor Eleanor Nicholls, David Gill, owner of Gills Fry Fry Ltd, and Gus Dulai of Dulai's enterprise.

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Takeaway business Gills Fry Fry has battered the competition with its latest award win.

The firm, which operates shops in Town End Farm and Seaham, as well as Merrills Fish Grill in Chester Road, is celebrating after being recognised with the prestigious National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Fish & Chip Quality Award.

The NFFF, the trade body that represents the nation’s fish and chip shops, runs the scheme as a way of raising standards within the trade, and raising the profile of the industry.

To qualify, each shop has to go through an inspection by an NFFF Approved Assessor, who assesses the shop’s presentation, hygiene and cleanliness, staff training, equipment, frying and sales skills – and most importantly the quality of the cooked product.

NFFF training and accreditation manager Richard Wardell, said: “The NFFF Fish & Chip Quality Award assessment is extremely comprehensive.

“Food safety is a key area that we examine together with other key aspects of the business, including the preparation and cooking equipment, to the management of paperwork and the traceability of fish.

“Gills Fry Fry clearly takes pride in where it sources its fish and potatoes from.

“Achieving the NFFF Fish & Chip Quality Award provides reassurance to customers that they are being served cooked food using high-quality ingredients.”

Each Fish and Chip Quality Award is valid for two years and retention is dependent on standards being maintained as checked by NFFF officials and appointed assessors.

Gills Fry Fry has embraced new technology to improve its customer service, with a comprehensive online ordering system through a new smart phone app.

About 250 fish and chip outlets across the country have been recognised with the NFFF Fish & Chip Quality Award.