Top food pub slapped with one-star food hygiene rating

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

The Cross: fell behind on food safety issues (Photo: Ian Rob)
The Cross: fell behind on food safety issues (Photo: Ian Rob)

Related tags: Food standards agency, Food

A Michelin-starred gastropub has been given one of the lowest possible ratings for food hygiene.

The Cross at Kenilworth, Warwickshire, was handed a one-star rating after an inspection by environmental health officers (EHO) in January.

Inspectors found that a vacuum packer was being used to pack both raw and ready-to-eat foods, food was being kept in a Hold-O-Mat oven at 62°​C – one degree lower than the Food Standards Agency’s minimum temperature of 63°​C – and there was no evidence staff had been trained to correctly use the site’s water bath.

There was also no evidence two members of staff had been trained in the food hygiene matters necessary for their roles, according to the EHO. 

'Very disappointed'

Andreas Antona, owner of the Cross, said: “We are very disappointed with the score because the whole team takes health, safety and hygiene extremely seriously.

“The issues raised in the recent EHO visit resulted from a paperwork misunderstanding and a broken vacuum-packing machine.”

Prior to the EHO visit, the Cross held a four-star rating. Antona said the team had applied for a revisit hoping for an even better score.

“At the revisit, one of our vacuum-packing machines was broken, we had implemented controls to protect customers but the inspector marked us down for the issue,” he said.

Risk of contamination 

Food safety guidelines dictate that separate vacuum packers must be used for raw and ready-to-eat foods, due to risk of contamination unless the equipment is fully dismantled and disinfected between uses.

The pub was working with Warwick District Council to complete the EHO’s recommendations and planned to reapply for a further revisit to rectify the score, Antona said.

“We have absolute confidence that we have always operated at the high standards expected of an award-winning establishment.

“While we are not due a revisit until May, we’d be happy to be inspected without prior warning.”

In 2015, Adam Bennett. chef director at the Cross, led a team of UK chefs to compete in top international cooking competition the Bocuse d’Or, which takes place in Lyon, France.  

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