a banbridge restaurant given a one star ‘scores on the doors’ rating had mouldy food in the fridge and was “generally dirty”.
The Outlook has obtained a copy of the environmental health inspector’s report into standards at Gaze on Newry Street.
The Chinese restaurant and takeaway recently received a food hygiene rating of just one out of five after officers from Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council conducted a visit.
The visit was prompted by two complaints from members of the public. The complaints related to undercooked chicken and a metal object found in rice.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, The Outlook obtained the environmental health report. It stated the officer’s “disappointment” in management due to its failure to raise standards.
The business was given three months to improve, however, there were “continued poor standards” recorded in another visit.
The environmental health officer first visited the premises on 10 April and said: “The premises was found to be generally dirty at this time.”
The EHO spoke to management and “a week was allowed for cleaning to take place” with an improvement list provided to the Gaze team.
However, they returned on 27 April and “no improvements were observed”.
The business had previously been rated in January 2018 receiving a score of three, which meant that it was “generally satisfactory”. A score of one means major improvement is necessary.
The inspection at the end of April found out-of-date asparagus and mouldy aubergine stored in the fridge and there was “no date coding to demonstrate that other prepared items were safe to eat”.
“At visits on 10 April and 27 April, fried and boiled rice had been left out overnight at room temperature. On both occasions, the staff covered this with cling film during the inspection. This would suggest the intention that this rice was to be reused. This is dangerous practice and such leftover rice should be discarded at the end of each evening,” the report stated.
A slicer was used for both raw and cooked meats, foods were left in open tin cans, loose safety pins were found in the kitchen, a badly damaged metal sieve was also spotted which the officer said “could cause food contamination”.
Raw prawns were in a basin “used to hold cooked chicken”, duck had been allowed to defrost to nine degrees while raw meat was being stored above cooked food in the fridges.
The officer stated all of this was “dangerous and poor practice” and “must stop”.
The report stated “generally all shelves in the kitchen were dirty and greasy”, there were “dirty and mouldy door seals to under bench and upright refrigerators” and the “ceiling to the walk-in chill was also shedding paint particles”.
“There was no evidence of any temperature monitoring of either delivery, refrigeration, cooking or hot hold.
“You must have a food safety HACCP system in place that ensures daily checks are made. When asked, staff were unsure was there a thermometer on site,” the officer said.
Legally Gaze are required to display the food hygiene rating sticker of one at the public entrance.
Commenting on the findings, a Gaze Banbridge spokesperson said they had been working hard to take on board what the council said in the inspection report.
“Since the one star came out the staff here have been working hard. We are clean every day here. There is a big improvement,” they said.