SCORES of takeaways and restaurants across Wearside have been told to make urgent or major improvements after being found wanting by public health inspectors.
More than 100 eateries in Sunderland failed to meet “satisfactory” standards at their last inspections, according to data from the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
From chip shops to hospital kitchens, cafes to hotels, every business serving food must be inspected by council officials – with each is given a rating out of five for food hygiene.
And today we can reveal how clean your favourite restaurants, takeaways and cafes really are.
Each establishment is given a star rating out of five. The good news is 831 of Sunderland’s 1,809 inspected eating places scored full marks.
The place has been completely scrubbed from top to bottom.Pit Stop Cafe Manager Julie Simpson
But more than 100 failed to meet the “generally satisfactory” three-star grade.
Three were even given zero ratings by inspectors, meaning “urgent improvements” were needed. These are B + S Discount Centre in Front Street, Houghton; Lambton Fisheries in Lambton Village Centre, Washington; and Pit Stop Cafe in Philadelphia Lane, Houghton.
But Julie Simpson took over the running of the Pit Stop Cafe – which serves breakfasts, sandwiches and homemade pies and curries – at the end of November. It was rated 0 on December 8, but she says she has now completely overhauled the business.
“It has been totally redecorated,” she said. “We have new lino in the back and the place has been completely scrubbed from top to bottom. We have thrown out everything.”
And Lambton Fisheries manager Tricia Render said the rating has seriously harmed the shops reputation, by giving customers the mistaken belief that the shop is dirty. Tricia took over the management of the chippy in January and together with owner Steven Sangha has rectified any points of concern.
These included re-painting items where the paint was wearing off and removing rust from tables, as well as regulating the temperature.
“There were quite a few bits and pieces that needed doing at the shop,” Tricia said. “People thought we had rats, but that wasn’t the case at all, it was mainly to do with decorating, and it has been really damaging to our business.”
Only this week, Mr Sangha obtained his Level 3 food and hygiene certificate and they are hoping to get the FSA rating updated in the coming weeks when they expect an inspector to come back.
A further 82 establishments got just one star, meaning “major improvements” are needed, and another 27 were given only two stars – meaning “improvement necessary.”
Some 458 got the “generally satisfactory” three-star rating, with 408 given a four-star “good“ rating and 831 gaining the coveted five-star “very good” quality mark.
Two of the establishment rated five are the Toby Carveries in Barnes Park, Sunderland and Emmerson Road, Washington.
“For Toby Carvery preparing and serving food to the highest possible quality and safety standards is critical to our business,” said a spokeswoman for the chain. “We understand the reassurance the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme gives to our guests and we are very proud of achieving a high rating score of five stars.”