Owner of Stansted restaurant which received low hygiene rating says inspector came at ‘wrong’ time

PUBLISHED: 14:59 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:59 30 August 2018

Wood Grill, Stansted Mountfitchet. Picture: Saffron Photo

Wood Grill, Stansted Mountfitchet. Picture: Saffron Photo

SaffronPhoto 2016

The owner of a restaurant in Stansted Mountfitchet which received a hygiene rating of one earlier this year but is displaying an earlier rating of four, has said the inspector came at an ‘unfortunate’ time and that they had since appealed the decision on the lower rating.

The owner of a restaurant in Stansted Mountfitchet which received a hygiene rating of one earlier this year but is displaying an earlier rating of four, has said the inspector came at an ‘unfortunate’ time and that they had since appealed the decision on the lower rating.

The inspection on May 18 of Wood Grill, in Cambridge Road, by environmental health officers at Uttlesford District Council concluded that major improvement was necessary in the management of food safety and improvements had to be made in the cleanliness and condition of facilities and the building and in food handling.

Patrick Benabid, who has been in the restaurant business for 25 years, said the Wood Grill had an extremely busy evening the night before the inspector arrived at 10am and cleaning was still under way.

He said the manager had not yet arrived and staff couldn’t access the necessary paperwork.

“The truth is we did get a one star rating - it was an oversight from our team and the inspection happened at the wrong time,” said Mr Benabid.

“But this all started (with a bad review) on Facebook - I think it’s just really unfair and it feels really personal.

“It was an unfortunate sequence of events where it felt like everything that could go wrong did.

“But I want to be clear that everything was labelled and nothing was dangerous.

“It was unfortunate. But we are a local business and we employ local people. We are packed every evening.

“We have contested the rating and we are expecting a visit any time now. All our other restaurants have top hygiene ratings.”

Mr Benabid said the restaurant was due for refurbishment next year, including a state-of-the-art kitchen, and he would like to thank members of the public who have been supporting the business during a ‘difficult’ time.

“I would like to thank the genuine customers in all of this and the people who have been positive on Facebook about the restaurant and supported us.”

A spokesman for Uttlesford District Council said a request for a re-inspection had recently been received from Wood Grill.

He said: “A subsequent revisit was made to the premises and standards were found to have improved.

“We have recently received a request for a re-inspection.

“Officers have been in touch with the restaurant to advise them to amend their displayed score.”

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