Food hygiene help offer

Pizzaria Ravello which rated a zero at the end of last year

Pizzaria Ravello which rated a zero at the end of last year

Council chiefs have urged food establishments that are struggling to make the hygiene grade to get in touch for help and advice.

The offer was made after the Food Standards Agency revealed that the borough’s takeaways, restaurants, canteens and kitchens have been receiving the lowest ratings from inspectors across the whole of the North West.

The responsibility lies solely with the individual establishments themselves but the local authority, as well as policing the premises for cleanliness and facilities, also offers assistance in meeting the required standards.

The latest round of inspections reported in Wigan - which the Evening Post reported last month - had appeared to be good news, with more than half of those inspected getting the highest possible ranking of five (very good).

But the wider statistics over a longer period tell a different story.

While in Bury only 9.43 per cent of premises failed to get a four (good) or a five, in Wigan a massive 38 per cent were rated three (generally satifactory) or below.

A two means improvement necessary, a one is major improvement required and a zero is urgent improvement required.

In the last round only one local establishment - Pizzaria Ravello in Ashton-in-Makerfield - rated as zero following an inspection on November 23.

It was ordered to make major improvements to the system and checks in place to ensure that food sold and served is safe to eat and evidence that staff know about food safety.

It was also told to make urgent improvements to the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building, including having the appropriate lay-out, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control to enable good food hygiene.

Mark Tilley, Wigan Council assistant director for infrastructure and regulatory services, said: “We work closely with all the food establishments in Wigan borough to ensure the highest standards of hygiene are met and maintained. If an establishment is given a low score we work with the owners to address the issues and advise them about the steps they need to take to improve their score.

“Our food hygiene officers visit premises on a regular basis, particularly those with low ratings, to monitor progress and to ensure standards are maintained or where necessary, improved. Businesses that need advice on how to improve their rating can contact us for support.”