Sunderland sandwich shop owner shows off four stars after ratings resolved

A sandwich shop owner has hit back after customers were led to believe it had a one-star hygiene rating, when in fact it had four.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 4:44 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th September 2019, 12:11 am

Robbie Bewick has run the Orange Leaf at the bottom of Hylton Road for decades. He has been in the industry for 30 years and says he has always taken pride in the shop’s hygiene.

However, an inspection by food safety officers gave the shop a one-star rating after problems with paperwork and leaves blocking the outdoor guttering.

The system goes from zero to five, with one star meaning “major improvement is necessary”.

Robbie Bewick, owner of the Orange Leaf sandwich shop on Hylton Road.

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Those improvements were made immediately and, in an inspection dated July 15, the Orange Leaf was again awarded four stars, which is officially “good”.

The problem was that the website of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), which carries out the inspections, was not immediately updated. This led to reports that the shop was still operating with a one-star hygiene rating.

Mr Bewick was alarmed and wants people to know the shop’s true score.

He said: “It was upsetting. I’d been up to four stars for a long time then suddenly I got one. It was mainly for paperwork.

Robbie Bewick outside his Orange Leaf sandwich shop, showing its true hygiene rating.

“My customers were surprised. They come in here every day and see me putting out fresh tablecloths and cleaning the ovens. They couldn’t see why I had been marked so low.

“I did all the paperwork and was straight back up to a four within a few days. But for some reason it wasn’t updated on the system.

“I still displayed my ‘4’ in the front window, even though I was being reported as a one based on information from the FSA website. I would have been happy for anyone to check it out.

“Hylton Road isn’t a great road to run a business from anyway. But you build up the business - and then you get this. It’s very harsh.

Robbie Bewick was alarmed his sandwich shop was being reported as having a one-star hygiene rating when it actually had four stars.

“But the customers stood by me and I’d like to thank them for their loyal support. They know I put great importance in hygiene, as well as the quality of the food.”