Help at hand to raise food safety ratings

Pictured is owner of Millennium Take-Away in Crowland, Hakan Dastan, holding his food hygiene certificate, with  Gary Stanley (Lead Food Health & Safety Officer). Also pictured are Mandy Baker (Assistant Food Health & Safety Officer), and two members of Hakan's team, Necati Filikci (back left) and Ayhan Sabri (back right)''Picture: Stuart Wilde Photography Ltd''
Pictured is owner of Millennium Take-Away in Crowland, Hakan Dastan, holding his food hygiene certificate, with Gary Stanley (Lead Food Health & Safety Officer). Also pictured are Mandy Baker (Assistant Food Health & Safety Officer), and two members of Hakan's team, Necati Filikci (back left) and Ayhan Sabri (back right)''Picture: Stuart Wilde Photography Ltd''
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Action is being taken to drive up food hygiene and safety across South Holland.

The district council has been offering coaching to a dozen low-scoring restaurants and takeaways to raise their food hygiene ratings.

Businesses are rated from zero to five, where zero means urgent improvement is necessary and five is very good.

Crowland’s Millennium Kebab and Pizza House emerged as a shining example of what can be achieved, having raised their rating from a two to a four after receiving the council coaching.

Hakan Dastan, who took over the takeaway in October 2012, said: “The council inspectors said we had done a really excellent job in going up from a two to a four rating – but it was with their help, and everything went really well.

“All four of our permanent staff, including me, were there while they gave us the coaching and they explained very clearly what we needed to do to improve, and made sure everyone understood.”

While 90 per cent of eligible premises in South Holland have achieved a rating of three to five, the remaining ten per cent puts 47 food businesses in the zero to two rating band.

The national food hygiene ratings cover how food is handled, the condition and cleanliness of the buildings and how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

Malcolm Chandler, district council portfolio holder for regulatory services, said: “While we are assisting, coaching and educating business, those businesses that fail to engage and make the necessary improvements will face formal enforcement action.”