A MICHELIN star restaurant in Kenilworth is ‘disappointed’ after receiving a hygiene rating of just one star.
The Cross had requested for food inspectors to check their New Street premises after an earlier rating gave them four out of five stars.
But staff were left shocked after receiving just one star – meaning they need to make ‘major improvements’.
They are just one of two businesses in the town with a one star rating, and join just 23 out of nearly 1,500 across the district with the score.
Warwick District Council inspectors working on behalf of the Food Standards Agency found a vacuum packing machine was being used for raw and cooked foods.
An ice bucket used for cooling foods quickly was being stored underneath the u-bend of a sink and a kitchen towel was found underneath a bin – although kitchen staff told inspectors it was to stop it slipping.
In the report inspectors said: “During the inspection it was found the ‘ready to eat’ vacuum packer had been broken since before Christmas and you were using the ‘raw’ vacuum packer for both raw and ready to eat foods.
“You must ensure vacuum packers are not used for dual use as there is a risk of contamination.”
But The Cross claim the conditions at the time of the inspection were not ‘usual’ for the establishment and changes have now been made so they are prepared for another check.
Owner Andreas Antona 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 visit resulted from a paperwork misunderstanding and a broken vacuum packing machine.
“The Cross had a four star rating in December prior to this inspection, little has changed in the set up or personnel, we reapplied 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.
“We have worked with Warwick District Council, completing all recommendations and we are looking to reapply for a further revisit in the future.
“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.”