Buckinghamshire Council has said a fish and chip shop in Beaconsfield was not given a five-out-of-five food hygiene rating despite claims from its manager, and accused the business of misleading customers by displaying an invalid rating in its window. 

Tom, the general manager of Old Town Friar on London End told the Free Press yesterday that he had requested a reinspection of the business after it was handed a damning zero food hygiene rating by an inspector in April.

He said an inspector had returned to the fish and chip shop on Tuesday, May 7, and gave the business a new rating of five-out-of-five after concluding that issues involving record-keeping and documentation had been updated.

However, a spokesperson for Buckinghamshire Council said today (May 9) that Old Town Friar had not been given a five rating during the reinspection this week.

They also said the owners of the shop had been asked to remove an invalid food hygiene sticker displaying a five rating ‘on numerous occasions’.

“We are yet to send the business their final inspection report and confirm their new rating. The owners were however advised at the time that their new rating would not be a five.

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“They have been requested on numerous occasions to remove the sticker that they are displaying which shows a five and is not current and therefore valid.”

Tom reasserted that the inspector who visited the shop on Tuesday had told him it would receive the best possible food hygiene rating and said he “absolutely disagreed” with the council’s position.

He also said the sticker had not been removed from the window because of complications related to the rental of the unit, adding that he was in the process of attempting to detach it using adhesive.

“The inspector admitted that the zero rating was because of a couple of diary checks. I paid £250 for a new inspection, and it happened as quickly as possible – then we were told it was a five. That’s all I can say.

“We are waiting for the full report, which will confirm what we have already said.”

Speaking yesterday (May 8), the general manager said the “paperwork management” which had caused the restaurant’s zero rating included “new rules on labelling things” and “keeping a record” of everything that is cooked on the premises.

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