Angel Hotel’s ‘robust defence’ as it is downgraded on food hygiene
The owner of a historic hotel has vowed to defend its reputation after food hygiene inspectors gave it a zero rating.
The Food Hygiene Agency’s website revealed on Monday that The Angel Hotel in Bury St Edmunds had dropped from four-stars to a zero rating, putting it lower than some of the town’s cheapest fast food outlets.
But Robert Gough, whose family have owned the hotel for 40 years, said on Wednesday: “With the findings of an independent review, we felt we had to defend the reputation of the hotel robustly.
“The score proposed by the council is an inaccurate and misleading error on the part of the environmental health officials.
“We have sought independent advice from a specialist and highly regarded consultant who is adamant that the score does not reflect the quality and standards that the inspector observed and that the assessment is neither fair nor credible.”
He said that while they are still working with the council to resolve issues, lawyers are taking the first steps to a judicial review action to seek to quash the rating and are seeking reinspection.
“I want to reassure all the patrons of the hotel of what we think the position is, “ he said. “We’re not happy with the discrepancies and the way this was secured.”
Mr Gough added that they take food hygiene seriously and that was illustrated by The Angel’s sister hotel, the Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich, having a five-star rating.
The Angel’s Eaterie restaurant is respected with ribeye steak at £23, cod with olive oil mash at £16 and oysters £2 each.
New chef Jason Scrimshaw, a Gordon Ramsey F-Word finalist, started only a week after the inspection.
Though Mr Gough stressed: “We’re a fresh food operation and work hard with local producers to get the best. Because we get it fresh we go through it quickly. For example, we go through 100 eggs in two days.”
The Food Hygiene Agency publicises star ratings on its nationally available website (www.food.gov.uk) and smartphone app, the inspections are carried out by district and borough councils using national criteria.
A spokeswoman for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “Officers are actively working with the management and staff at The Angel.
“Since the [first] food hygiene visit a further visit was carried out on 12 November. At this point a significant number of improvements were observed ensuring higher standards of food safety and hygiene.”
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Monday 27 May 2013
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