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Poor standards of cleanliness in top London restau


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Food hygiene reports for inspected London restaurants can now be viewed online at www.yourlondon.gov.uk.

As with reports on food outlets elsewhere in the UK, which have been accessible for some time, London restaurants are graded on a zero to five star scale.

It would be invidious of me to name and shame, but at least one of this forum's favourites rates just one star :"A poor level of compliance with food safety legislation. Much more effort required."

Am I alone in being concerned about poor standards of hygiene in restaurant kitchens?

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Well they don't seem to actually define what the places are doing wrong. Do you get one star for the occasional dirty fork or for being infested with rats? So long as the chefs aren't wanking in the food I don't care a great deal - a few bugs are good for the immune system, we shouldn't be trying to live in a bubble.

Also, the search system sucks.

Edited by camdan (log)
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not defending lapses but what might be considered major lapses in following the legislation doesn't necessarily mean they are dirty, it might be bureaucracy measures such as constantly measuring fridges temps, delivery temps, appropriate warning stickers around etc. There is a lot of red tape.

Saying that, we never got a visit when we had the pub so it wouldn't have been inspected for over 2 years.

Did see a rat running around the kitchen in paris earlier this year.

you don't win friends with salad

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.

Also, the search system sucks.

The search system is just as bad all over the country!

Just to add, the new paperwork involved in order to get the full 5 stars is amazing, and meant that we ended up with 3 stars, but without having any recommendations for improvement given to us except fill in more paperwork.

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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It still doesn't look very transparent to me (although obviously better than having no information at all. Some of the sections seem a little misleading , "Consumers at risk" suggests that there are consumers at risk at a particular premises when in fact it is simply a rating based on the type of business

This factor considers the number of consumers likely to be at risk if the

business fails to comply with food standards legislation.

so a risk rating of 0 which you might initially think was good actually means
Businesses supplying less than 20 consumers each day.
Whereas a 15 might seem high in the grand scheme of things bit simply refers to a large distributing business. Type of Food and Method of processing are similar type ratings.

Still no explanation that I can find about the scores required to achieve the stars :huh:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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The search system sucks.

Appalling, yes. Plus they've spelt it "Ramsey".

You can browse around a bit by going here and putting "street" or "road" in the search box, with all the other ones blank. If you're viewing by star order, it may be judicious to skip around by editing the number on the very end of the URL. (ie: "null&start=1430" would take you to number 1430).

For example, you can do a London-wide sweep of the 300 or so Street-addressed zero-star establishments by starting here. It's more manageable if you limit to an area, eg: road-bound zeros in Westminster start here.

Through this method, I've discovered that all the five-star places are almost exclusively sandwich shops, cafes and work canteens. Chains such as McDonalds and Cafe Rouge also score very well. With a few exceptions, most of the serious restaurants get two or three stars. The nul points tend to be Chinese or Indian, with a peculiarly high proportion in Upper Street, Islington.

Edited by naebody (log)
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Still no explanation that I can find about the scores required to achieve the stars :huh:

No we've never had a real one for that matter

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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The search system sucks.

The nul points tend to be Chinese or Indian, with a peculiarly high proportion in Upper Street, Islington.

When I click on the Upper Street link, why do l get transferred to the Amazon website?

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I have to say, I find these results quite interesting and shocking in some cases. I'm especially disturbed by the amount of sushi places that have been given one or less star ratings. The one thing you want done according to the safety guidelines is the preservation and preparation of seafood (or any food for that matter) which is going to be served raw.

But having said that, its not entirely clear what a restaurant needs to do to achieve a five star rating and therefore I'm not sure what to make of these results in general. It would be great if a system was established whereby customers could actually see what a 5 star or a 1 star rating meant in real terms. By and large I'm greatly in favour of having ratings published outside establishments, as long as the system for rating the restaurant is clear, uncomplicated and restaurants have a chance of improving their rating if down graded. In all things a consumer should know what they're getting, especially if this means rats in the kitchen and broken refrigeration systems.

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. The nul points tend to be Chinese or Indian, with a peculiarly high proportion in Upper Street, Islington.

Though Maison Bertaux in Soho , Waitrose on Marylebone High St and Starbucks on Queensway all manage to get no stars as well . Must say i've eaten regularly at Maison Bertaux for 35 years with no ill effect , so i don't place much faith in the inspection system.

gethin

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The new system of star ratings, and the 'safer food better business' is a bit of a joke. On a recent inspection we were told to 'go back to using the old systems' of logging everything from fridge temps to delivery temps to holding times etc. This is very time consuming for the busy chef (and the point that chefs at a decent level and standard have a brain in thier head and know how to cook and when an ingredient has passed its best seems to be overlooked by the , usually condesending EHO) and when you read SFBB you can just log a handful of these in order, presumably, to save time and paper work. When I was asked to prove that these procedures were in place I pionted out that SFBB only requires a few checks a day as oppesed to the old regime of a dozen or more. This, I was told was not acceptable and would probably be challenged in court soon (in a different case, not me, my kitchen is up to3* standard, 4 last year, but as soon as EHO arrived said 'oh you were awarded 4 * lastyear, i've never given 4!!!). What, then, was the point in spending presumably hundreds of thousands of pounds on developing and putting into practice SFBB if we are to be advised by health inspectors to revert to the old methods of logging??? It really does beggar belief that we pour so much money down the drain to jump through more hoops than a dolphin at sea world.

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