Your favourite restaurant or food shop may look like a temple to taste on the outside but who knows what murky secrets are lurking out the back?
Well, thanks to the Scores on the Doors hygiene rating, a food outlet’s attention to cleanliness is now rated from five stars, for excellent, to zero, for not very good at all.
Have a look at our list of places in the Watford area which according to the Food Standards Agency, are in “urgent need of improvement”.
1. Watford Halal Meat in Whippendell Road, Watford was inspected as recently as February 4, when it was given a rating of zero. The Watford Observer was unable to make contact with the manager.
2. Watford Supermarket, in Market Street, Watford was awarded its zero food hygiene rating on December 6, 2013.
Ahmed Istiksar, manager, said: “We were working on the cold room and freezer inside the store so they said they would come back again when the work was finished and give us a new rating."
3. Day 1, in St Albans Road, Watford hasn’t been inspected since October 25, 2012, when it was given a rating of zero. A new owner took over in November and it is due to be reassessed in the next month. As of June 2014, Day 1 had a score of three.
4. Blue Check in Bushey High Street was inspected on December 13 last year and given a rating of zero.
David Johal, from the restaurant’s head office, said: “Our food hygiene inspection was carried out on a Friday lunchtime just before Christmas when we had 120 dining with us and it was in the middle of service.
“Unfortunately there were no management in the restaurant at the time so there was no-one to go over the inspection with the inspector.
“Since the inspection all requirements have been complied with, we have also taken on board an independent food hygiene inspector who has been helping us to achieve five star rating. When our independent inspector visited us they felt that our zero rating was very harsh.
“Our re-inspection will take place between four and six months from the date of our inspection. This means that our re-inspection will take place within eight weeks.”
5. Thai Orchid in Moneyhill Parade, Rickmansworth was awarded a food hygiene rating of zero on June 18, 2013. It was re-inspected before Christmas and an improvement was noted, but the owner has not yet asked to be reassessed.
6. Atlantis Fish Bar in Watling Street, Radlett was awarded a zero in its food hygiene rating on April 18, 2013, but the manager refused to comment on why.
7. Bonnies Cafe in Bushey High Street was also given a food hygiene rating of zero, on March 4 this year, because of procedures and documentation, as opposed to cleanliness.
Bonny Riby-Williams has owned the cafe for four months, after ripping out the old one.
She said: “I was visited by the council last week and they told me that if I go on a second food hygiene course I will get a five star rating.”
8. Rice Bowl in Bushey Hall Road was inspected on October 18, 2013 and awarded a rating of zero. The Watford Observer was unable to make contact with the owner.
9. Shimla Spice Bushey in Bushey Hall Road was inspected on August 21, 2013. The Watford Observer was unable to make contact but the restaurant’s answer machine said it was under new management.
*The Watford Observer previously reported that Saffron restaurant, in Carpenders Park, had been given a score of zero in its Food Hygiene Rating.
The rating was given to the previous premises and was not related to Saffron, which has not yet opened or been inspected.
This was due to an administrative error at Three Rivers District Council. We apologise for any confusion caused.
Information obtained from the FSA website and was correct at the time of writing.