Popular pub receives zero food-hygiene rating and needs major improvement

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Big changes needed: the Blacksmith's Arms (photo credit: J Thomas)
Big changes needed: the Blacksmith's Arms (photo credit: J Thomas)
A Lincolnshire pub has fallen from a five star rating to zero for food hygiene, following a recent inspection.

The Blacksmith's Arms in Rothwell, Market Rasen, was visited by environmental health officers from West Lindsey Council on 22 August.

Inspectors found major improvement necessary for the pub’s hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of facilities and building, and its management of food safety.

The Morning Advertiser ​attempted to contact the Blacksmith's Arms but received no response, however, the pub denied the rating, according to local media.

Pub's opinion

Manager Nigel Rowson told Lincolnshire Live ​the pub actually scored a higher rating. He said: “As far as we are concerned, we got a three.”

However, on review site TripAdvisor, the pub has an average rating of four stars, with diners lauding its food and service.

Meanwhile, food safety experts revealed how pubs can avoid serious hygiene issues and can ‘guarantee’ a five-star food hygiene rating.

A storage system in the kitchen can eliminate cross-contamination of raw with ready-to-eat food and keeping food on racks instead of the floor with a date label can also help achieve that five-star rating, according to Food Safety Guru.

Avoid cross-contamination by having separate sinks or planning so that ready-to-eat foods are washed first.

Top tips

Having separate time slots for dishwashing and food preparation and stick to it. Sanitising the drink and ensuring procedures are documented are also good plans to keep clean.

On the subject of keeping clean, using antibacterial soap or blue roll to dry hands is vital in keeping the kitchen spotless.

Staff training on avoiding food poisoning and how to prepare food safely can also avoid risk of contamination.

This training should include specific hazards, food hygiene, knowledge and skills of the job, safe systems of work, codes of practice, chemical/COSHH use, manual handling and working at heights for any step ladder use.

Lastly, Food Safety Guru said operators would not get a Level 5 Food Hygiene Rating unless they record the above points.

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