The vast majority of restaurants, cafes, pubs and clubs in Stamford, Bourne and the Deepings have “excellent standards of hygiene”.
The endorsement comes from the Food Standards Agency, which gave most places that sell and service food in the area the top rating of five marks for keeping their premises clean and handling food hygienically.
None of the establishments inspected was given the lowest 0 rating, which means ‘urgent improvement is necessary’. Food hygiene inspections are carried out by officers from South Kesteven District Council in partnership with the agency. Inspectors arrive unannounced and check the cleaning process, equipment and how food is handled from arriving at the premises to being served.
District council’s portfolio holder for healthy environment John Smith (Con) said: “We’re proud of the range of eating premises in the district where the vast majority of businesses stringently follow regulations to provide excellent standards of hygiene.
“We work with businesses and support them to work through any issues so they can improve their ratings where applicable. Where premises have fallen very much below acceptable standards and warnings have been ignored, as recent prosecutions show we put the wellbeing of residents in the district first and take action.”
One point means major improvement is necessary, receiving two points means improvement is necessary, three points means generally satisfactory, four points means good and five points means very good.
In the past year, only seven out of 110 premises inspected in Stamford scored one, which means “major improvement is necessary” Of the premises inspected in Stamford 72 received the full five marks, 16 were given four, 11 scored three and four were rated two.
In the Deepings it was one out of 47 premises checked received one point, while 30 gained the top five marks. A further 15 establishments were given four, 11 scored three and four were rated two.
In Bourne, two out of the 77 premises visited received one point, while 50 received five points. There were 12 premises that received four points, 11 which got three points and two had a score of two.
Inspections are carried out under the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The ratings, which are published on the district council’s website, are intended to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food including restaurants, cafés, takeaways, hotels, food shops and canteens.
Inspections can be carried out as frequently as every six months depending on the risk and the type of premises.
But inspectors also visit when it is considered necessary, for example, if there is a complaint.
Premises that are marked one point are subject to “swift enforcement action”, which varies from a warning letter, improvement notice, prohibition notice (including closure) and prosecution or simple caution.
A district council spokesman said: “We will often go back the next day if it’s a ‘one’ mark, particularly where cleaning is an issue.
“We look for improvements and compliance with food safety laws. We look to ensure food hazards have been identified and that satisfactory controls are in place.
“We check that staff are trained and understand these controls and that the food business operator is ensuring effective management/supervision.
“There is a whole range of things we assess including a satisfactorily documented food safety management system, cleaning, structure, facilities, equipment, hygiene and practices.”
To view the hygiene ratings go to www.southkesteven.gov.uk