One of the top-rated restaurants in Bristol recently failed a routine hygiene check because staff had taken important paperwork with them on a hygiene training course. The Empire of India has the highest TripAdvisor rating in the town of Keynsham, but was only awarded two out of a possible five stars after its most recent inspection.
A spokesperson for the restaurant has defended it against the low score, assuring customers that it was simply the result of a clerical error. Speaking to Somerset Today, the spokesperson said “We didn’t have the book in place, the one where we log start and finish times, temperatures etc. The day inspectors came, we had two staff members at Bristol College for training and they’d taken the book with them.”
According to the gov.uk website, which provides information on public sector services, an inspection can happen “at any point in the food production and distribution process”, and inspections are usually unannounced. It is possible that The Empire of India knew the logbook should be kept on-site, but did not expect an inspection that day.
Ironically, the two members of staff had taken the book with them on their training course in order to prove to the lecturers that they knew how to properly keep their records.
The inspection, carried out on March 7, found the restaurant’s management of food safety to be ‘generally satisfactory’, while its hygienic food handling and condition of the facilities and building were marked as ‘improvement necessary’.
In the UK, a business may continue operating with any food hygiene rating, as long as they agree to make the recommended changes and improvements by a certain date. An inspector may close a business if they believe there is an immediate risk to public health.
In this case, the Empire of India has stated that the inspector has returned to the premises since the evaluation in March, and has given them the all clear. They are now waiting for their new food hygiene rating.
The restaurant’s spokesperson also added that two more members of staff will be attending the training in the near future. Hopefully they have already learnt where to keep the logbooks.