ELEVEN restaurants, cafes or takeaways in Bolton have received a rating of zero or one for food hygiene in the last six months, according to the Food Standards Agency.
Seven establishments have recorded scores of zero on the food hygiene rating scheme, which runs up to level five, meaning they require “urgent improvement”, while four premises receiving a level one score are said to require “major improvements”.
Several business owners have suggested that the ratings system is too harsh, while others have said they have been badly affected by previous owners.
Amjid Mirza, owner of A Star Chippy in Lever Street, which received a zero rating in December, said that after taking over in the autumn, the rating was chiefly due to the previous owners.
He said: “This place was being run a certain way for 25 years and we had only been here a few months when the inspector came.
“We have since spent a lot of money on cleaning and tidying the place and are confident we will achieve a much better score when she comes back.”
Farnworth is a hotspot for zero ratings, with three establishments being awarded the lowest score.
Chilli’s Pizza, in Market Street, was awarded a zero score in February, while the Curry Centre in Egerton Street received the same score last December.
The Godfather Pizza shop in Albert Road was also awarded a zero score in January. All three businesses were unavailable for comment.
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Completing the list of lowest scoring restaurants and takeaways in the borough are K2 Chippy in Halliwell Road; Tasty Chicken in Newport Street; and Yan Moon House in Montserrat Road. They were also unavailable for comment.
Achieving the higher score of one was the Abacus Oriental Restaurant in Horwich.
Director Tony Lau said: “In the past we have often had a rating of four stars and we think this rating was harsh, but we are correcting the minor things that were pointed out.”
Angelo Guido, owner of Angelo’s Pizzeria in Egerton, also felt his level one rating was harsh.
He said: “I felt like the inspector was picking on little things. We clean every day and don’t think it should be a one.”
Also achieving a level one rating was the Chuffas cafe, based on the platform at Bolton railway station.
Owner Sheila Griffiths said: “We were very surprised. The place is not dirty, but we are having a deep clean now.”
A council spokesman said: “Our food team has a vital role in improving food hygiene and standards, particularly in those premises not achieving a satisfactory standard in food hygiene.”
Bromley Crust in Darwen Road, Bromley Cross, got a rating of one. No-one was available for comment.
The 11 lowest hygiene ratings in Bolton:
- A Star Chippy, Lever Street, Great Lever - 0
- Chilli’s Pizza, Market Street, Farnworth - 0
- The Curry Centre, Egerton Street, Farnworth - 0
- Godfather Pizza, Albert Road, Farnworth - 0
- K2 Chippy, Halliwell Road - 0
- Tasty Chicken, Newport Street - 0
- Yan Moon House, Montserrat Road - 0
- Abacus Oriental Restaurant, Horwich - 1
- Angelo’s Pizzeria, Egerton - 1
- Chuffas cafe, Bolton railway station - 1
- Bromley Crust, Darwen Road, Bromley Cross - 1