'Out-of-date' food failings map 'unfair'
EATERIES in St Austell are furious after they were included in 'out-of-date' food hygiene statistics published online by a national newspaper.
Theguardian.co.uk has published an interactive map with red dots indicating businesses which had failed their food hygiene inspection by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
There were ten of these red dots in the St Austell area.
Local businesses have argued that these statistics are out of date and it was unfair to publish them online.
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For instance, the Four Lords Inn at St Blazey Gate was inspected in July last year, when it scored a one.
Landlady Jill Tallon said they have altered the business since, including a medieval banquet-style restaurant and new chef.
She explained the fail was for not keeping a written record of kitchen checks.
She said: "We have made a hell of a lot of improvements. I think it's unfair we were included [on the interactive map] over a year later because we're on top of everything now.
"The health and safety officer was meant to come back weeks ago and we're still waiting. It's disgusting."
The Porth Avallen Hotel in Sea Road, St Austell, also scored a one.
Owner George Abraham said the inspector visited them in January when they were undergoing refurbishment and had leftover food from Christmas parties in the freezer so they could dispose of it at a later date.
"I definitely agree that inspections should be a surprise but the timing was not the best," he added.
"The inspector did come back a few days later to check we had made all the suggested improvements, which we had. I asked for another full inspection but they have not been back.
"On TripAdvisor.co.uk everyone goes on about how wonderful the food is, especially the seafood. I am extremely passionate about the business, which I have owned for ten years, and I would love the inspector to come back."
Adam Stock, who works at the Golden Dragon in St Blazey Gate, echoed these concerns.
The takeaway scored a one at its inspection in May 2012.
"At the time, one of our chefs was pregnant and couldn't cook," he said. "Since the inspection, we've completely changed the way we hold food, the menu and staff members.
"I think it's pretty unfair and my bosses are confused because we have a lot of regular customers. That doesn't reflect what is shown on the interactive map, which could be misinterpreted."
Dragon Pearl takeaway in Clifden Road, St Austell, scored a one as well at its September 2012 inspection.
But manger Miss Chan said it is now under new management and is undergoing renovation.
"We're expecting another inspection later this year," she added. "The renovation work will have helped a lot. We're doing our utmost."
The Canton Express in St Stephen, which scored zero was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.
THE FSA rates all establishments which provide food, including schools, pubs, hotels and care homes.
Only newsagents, childminders, chemist shops or "visitor centres selling tins of biscuits" are excluded from inspections.
Inspectors are usually contracted by the local authority to rate businesses.
Even if a food outlet fails (receives a rating of less than three out of five) the business is not closed. That only happens if the food is so unsafe that there is an imminent health risk.