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High fives as Boro eateries given clean bill of health

Jean Hall who runs Jean's Kitchen in the Dundas Arcade

High fives all round this week as the latest batch of Middlesbrough eateries came through rigorous inspections with flying colours.

They’re the shining example for others to following according to the Council’s Executive member responsible for food hygiene and safety.

Members of the Council’s Environmental Health team regularly visit the town’s nearly 1,400-plus food businesses to ensure they’re safe for the public to use.

Ratings are awarded from 0 to 5, giving consumers a clear indication – businesses are encouraged to display their ratings prominently – where they can buy food and eat in safety and with confidence.

In Middlesbrough 94% of food business are rated 3,4 or 5 and there were top marks for six popular outlets which all achieved a 5 rating in the latest round of visits:

  • The Swatters Carr, Linthorpe Road
  • Jean’s Kitchen,  Dundas Shopping Centre and Indoor Market
  • Hollywood Bowl, Teesside Park
  • The Baker’s Cabin,  Saltersgill Avenue
  • The Oven, Linthorpe Road
  • The Highfield Hotel, Marton Road

Jean Hall has run Jean’s Kitchen in the Dundas Shopping Centre and Indoor Market for 22 years and said the hygiene ratings were important for both staff and customers.

She said: “The team and I just work so hard to achieve these ratings, and that gives us the confidence that the food we serve to customers is stored and prepared to the highest possible standard.

“It gives us real job satisfaction that we are doing things properly – that’s how passionate we are about it.

“More and more people are checking ratings before deciding where to take their custom, so that’s all the incentive we need to aim for a 5 rating and stay there.”

A spokesperson for The Highfield Hotel said: “We’re delighted to return to a 5 rating for high standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

“We were disappointed to see our rating briefly drop but it has been our absolute priority to turn this around and we’re really pleased that we’ve been successful.

“We’d like to thank all our customers for their understanding and support and hope we’ve reassured them with the seriousness with which we’ve dealt with the issues that were raised.”

Mari-Anne Regan, Centre Manager for Hollywood Bowl Stockton, said: “To achieve a 5 food hygiene rating is fantastic recognition for the team’s hard work in delivering a quality entertainment experience for our guests.

“We are committed to maintaining these high standards of food safety and cleanliness, enabling our guests to feel confident in Hollywood Bowl as a destination where they can focus on having fun and make lasting memories together when they visit.”

Last month, Middlesbrough Council’s food hygiene and safety experts carried out free advice visits to local food businesses to help them comply with food law and in turn improve their food hygiene ratings at their next inspection.

Judith Hedgley, Middlesbrough Council’s Head of Public Protection, said: “Food hygiene and safety is of paramount importance for the protection of the public.

“Maintaining and being able to demonstrate the highest standards can also help food business attract and keep customers.

“The vast majority of restaurants and takeaways in Middlesbrough achieve the top ratings, and consumers can have complete confidence in them.

“Our officers are always available to offer assistance and advice to businesses and we can help to keep them on track.

“We’re happy work with any food business - all they have to do is get in touch.”

Councillor David Coupe, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive member with responsibility for Public Protection, said: “We want all our food businesses to succeed, and it’s important to stress that the vast majority meet the very highest standards.

“In a relatively small number of cases we will act to close a business – usually temporarily - in the interests of public safety.

“Of course prevention is always better than cure, and our experts are there to help food businesses stay on the right side of the law.

“Congratulations to the latest businesses which have achieved the highest rating – where they are leading I hope others will follow.”

Businesses seeking food hygiene and safety advice can email ehts@middlesbrough.gov.uk.