Low food hygiene rating for council-owned Rhyl restaurant

Inside the 1891 restaurant
Image caption The 1891 restaurant is named after the year the original pavilion opened

A council has been left embarrassed after one of its own restaurants scored one out of five for food hygiene.

Inspectors who visited the 1891 restaurant at Rhyl's Pavilion Theatre in May urged improvements in food handling and management of food safety.

Denbighshire County Council said the restaurant had "always taken pride in its extremely robust and high standards of food hygiene".

It said "sheer volume of business" on the day meant some issues were missed.

The restaurant, named after the year the original pavilion was built, opened in December 2017 as part of a refurbishment of the theatre.

The council's own food safety officers ruled that major improvements were needed to "ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future".

Image copyright Google
Image caption The bar and restaurant opened as part of a revamp of Rhyl's Pavilion Theatre

A council spokesman told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that staff wanted to assure their "strong following" of customers that the poor inspection was a "one-off".

"On this particular occasion, the sheer volume of business meant that some issues related to stock control procedures, record keeping and other management processes were missed by staff and identified by food hygiene officers during their visit," he said.

"We immediately addressed the issues raised in the report, working closely with the inspection team to implement these improvements.

"Since the initial inspection we have had an immediate positive re-visit and have requested a re-inspection as soon as possible, so that the new score is a true reflection of our high standards."

Councillor Glenn Swingler, from the opposition Plaid Cymru group, said: "This shows public protection takes its role seriously without favour."

But he added: "For a council-run restaurant to get such a low rating is disappointing.

"Denbighshire needs to set the bar high for others to follow. Let's hope they learn very quickly from this."

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