Thursday, 15 April 2021

College restaurant fails food hygiene inspection

College restaurant fails food hygiene inspection

A RESTAURANT at The Henley College has been ordered to make major improvements after inspectors found failing hygiene standards.

Compass Chartwells, which runs the facility at the college’s Deanfield campus, scored just one star out of five when it was inspected by South Oxfordshire District Council’s environmental health officers.

This means “major improvement” is required under the national Scores on the Doors scheme, which is administered by the Food Standards Agency.

The latest inspection at the Deanfield Road site on November 16 showed a fall in standards from its two-star rating of just over a year earlier.

Inspectors found a sandwich display fridge that was not at the correct temperature, taps not being turned off hygienically and a lack of records about chilled foods.

There was also flaking wall surfaces and worn and dirty equipment.

A Freedom of Information request submitted by the Henley Standard revealed that the fridge containing foods with meat was being stored above 8C, which is higher than the official safety threshold. The core temperature of a pepperoni and cheese baguette was 10C and there were no holding temperature records for food being chilled in open displays.

More than 20 baguettes, three toasties and a savoury croissant were voluntarily thrown away during the visit.

The inspectors’ report said: “It was noted that staff may re-contaminate their hands after hand-washing as the taps are not being turned off hygienically. You must ensure taps are turned off with disposable towel after hand-drying.”

Inspectors found wall surfaces and tiles in the kitchen were in a poor condition while broken equipment included a chilled salad display unit with a missing side door.

A hand basin and door handles on a fridge and freezer were found to be “dirty” and required “thorough cleaning and disinfection where necessary”.

Chartwells is the UK’s largest school’s caterer and last month was at the centre of a row over the standard of its free school meals.

A Chartwells spokeswoman said: “We were naturally very disappointed by the recent rating at the college. Health and food safety is fundamental to what we do and we have some of the industry’s strongest food safety management systems in place.

“We immediately implemented a detailed action plan to rectify the areas outlined in the report and have worked with the college to complete the necessary work.

“In December we brought in a new management team and we are confident that the actions taken will enable us to gain a higher rating. We have applied to the local authority for a formal re-visit.

“This is the only contract where we have a one-star rating as 98 per cent of our contracts have been given a four- or five-star report.”

A college spokeswoman said: “The college met with the new management team at Chartwells and at that time the outcome of the inspection was not known.

“At the meeting, we asked Chartwells to produce a plan to upgrade the whole service level, food offer, pricing and facilities.

“This was planned to be delivered by mid-February and the college was then going to assess how this could be financially supported and ready for refurbishment taking place during the spring and summer. Given this poor rating, the college will work with Chartwells to ensure immediate improvements are made and there must be no repeat of this poor outcome.

“The catering service has been closed since the start of this term and will remain so until students are allowed back and the improvements required are implemented.

“All free school meals are being financed directly with food vouchers so there is no risk to students, staff and visitors.”

Meanwhile, Herbies Pizza in Greys Road, Henley, has also received a one star rating.

Inspectors visited on January 14 and found the takeaway needs “major improvement” to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat.

They said improvements were necessary in the handling of food, including preparation, cooking, reheating, cooling and storage.

The cleanliness and condition of the facilities and the premises were “generally satisfactory”.

A Herbies spokesman said: “We wash our hands before handling the food and after every order and we make sure that there are dates on everything so we are confident of a better score next time.”

All results are published online at

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