Hygiene 'good' at most eateries in St Ives and Carbis Bay
EATERIES in St Ives and Carbis Bay have been branded good or very good in the Food Standards Agency (FSA) hygiene ratings.
Among the top-rated were high-end eateries like Seagrass, pubs like The Lifeboat and Halsetown Inn, and curry houses like The Rajpoot.
More than 120 restaurants, takeaways and eateries were visited by FSA inspectors over the past 12 months.
A total of 58 were given five stars – categorised as "very good" – while 36 were branded "good", with four stars.
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Just three were given one star – classed as "major improvement needed" – and one got zero stars for "urgent improvement needed".
A rating given after inspection by a food safety officer from the local authority shows how closely the establishment meets requirements of food hygiene law.
Some outlet owners took issue with the system, while others have said they have made the changes required and are keen to be re-inspected.
Simon Snashall, manager of Rhubarbs Restaurant, St Andrews Street, St Ives, which received one star, said: "We had just taken over the business when we were inspected in May.
"The rating is basically due to problems we inherited but we're a totally different establishment now. I've shipped out some sub-standard equipment, done work in the kitchen, including some intensive cleaning, and we've got new staff.
"I've actually been ringing the Food Standards Agency because we're very keen to get re-tested."
Others criticised a system that seems to punish record-keeping more than standards of cleanliness.
Colin Phillips, of Coasters Tea Room, St Andrews Street, St Ives, said its one star was the result of being inspected when a new member of staff could not find the relevant paperwork that day.
He said: "The rating was nothing to do with cleanliness. We have had our best and busiest year ever and that wouldn't happen if there was a problem with our hygiene.
"We've never had a complaint or a negative word in the seven years we've been in business here. If you've got a dirty old shop, people are not going to come in.
"We were criticised for not having a diary and for not being able to show records of fridge temperatures. We do cream teas, toasted cheese sandwiches and cakes, yet we are expected to keep the same range of records the Carbis Bay Hotel does.
"It's a one-size-fits-all criteria and we clearly don't fit that criteria."
St Ives Holiday Village, in Lelant, had two outlets inspected but while their Chef's Corner got four stars, the site's The Shop got zero.
Matt Mitchell, from the company, said that following a recent change of hands the record book was not at the shop when the inspector arrived.
The Shop has since been re-graded with four stars.
The Restaurant and Chef's Corner at Tolroy Manor Holiday Village, St Erth Praze, which previously received a one-star rating, has now had five stars for Chef's Corner following reinspection.