Cafe could close after 17 years in business following 0 Food Hygiene rating
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For almost two decades visitors and tourists alike have been visiting the East Runton Tearooms.
However following a zero food hygiene rating from the Food Standards Agency, it appears the cafe, which is attached to a newsagents, has a long way to go before reality meets expectations.
Following an inspection of the High Street eatery, a food safety officer deemed that major improvements were needed in hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of the building and facilities, and management of food safety.
The owners have been given up to three months to make the various changes deemed necessary for the cafe to be hygienic.
Owner Keith Kelly, 62, said: 'We've been open 17 years and this could close us down, the work the inspector wants could cost between £8,000 and £10,000. Eight ladies who work for us could also lose their jobs if I have to pay for all the work the inspector said needs doing. 'Even if they give us a longer amount of time to do the work and pay for it, that's a year of working for us where we'll earn hardly anything.'
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Mr Kelly added: 'I was shocked, and disappointed and annoyed when I heard what we'd been rated. Our customers are shocked too, we've never had complaints about our food because what we sell people enjoy.'
The report states that the venue needs new wiring, flooring and ceiling, as well as better lighting.
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It was also reported that stock control and protection from contamination were below standard, as raw meat was being prepared in the same area as cooked food.
It was also stated that ingredients being used were out of date, and that food safety training needed to be undertaken by members of staff.
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme is operated by the Food Standards Agency in partnership with local authorities.
Annie Claussen-Reynolds, NNDC portfolio holder for Waste and Environmental Services, said: 'It's very important that people eating out or shopping for food have a clear indication of the hygiene standards of the businesses they are using.
'We take this role very seriously in North Norfolk and work hard to ensure the ratings are an accurate reflection of the standards in place.
'In this case unacceptable conditions were found at the time of inspection and food safety was not being effectively managed.
'The premises will be kept under regular review and monitored closely.'