A TOP Saddleworth restaurant has been returned to its high five position by a council’s consumer watchdog.
The White Hart at Lydgate was given a food hygiene rating of 2 in a ‘Scores on the Doors’ survey in October by Oldham Council.
‘Scores on the Doors’ offers consumers a chance to check out pubs, clubs, takeaways, restaurants and see how hygienic and well-managed food preparation is at any of the 515,182 listed premises throughout the UK.
The inspection found the Stockport Road restaurant was operating with just one vacuum pack machine for wrapping both raw and cooked food items in contravention of EU Food Standard Regulations.
But those same regulations allow the use of one roll of cling film to be used to wrap both raw and cooked food.
The White Hart recognised the shortfall immediately and rectified it by buying another machine straight away and applying for re-inspection.
The White Hart’s owner, Charles Brierley, said: “Just two days after the inspection, we took delivery of a second vacuum packer at a cost of £1787.98. Our chef has very high standards and I support him with the necessary investment.
“The environmental health inspector advised us, that had it not been for the vacuum packer, we would have retained our rating of 5.”
He added: “I’d like to thank the Environmental Health Officer for visiting us again in December at such short notice.
“I have every confidence in Mike and his team and we are all obviously delighted the rating has returned to 5 out of 5.”
The White Hart’s Head Chef Mike Shaw added: “Using a vacuum packer for portioned food is better for both a higher quality standard and is more hygienic than using cling film.
“We could have chosen to use cling film and saved a lot of money. Instead we bought a second machine so we now have one for raw and one for cooked food.”
The White Hart is joint third top restaurant in Greater Manchester in next year’s Good Food Guide, The Michelin inspectors Pick of the Pubs Guide and are recommended in the AA Restaurant Guide and the AA Hotel Guide with gold standard four-star rating and two entries in the Michelin Hotel and Restaurant Guide.