An award-winning Indian restaurant awarded a zero-star hygiene rating

An award-winning Indian restaurant in Staffordshire has been slapped with a zero-star hygiene rating.

The Lodge Balti Restaurant is Lichfield’s second highest rated Indian restaurant on Tripadvisor, having won the Tommy Miah International Indian Chef Award for Best Restaurant in Staffordshire.

But when inspectors intervened on January 13, they found that its hygiene standards were sorely lacking.

And Lichfield District Council has now released its comprehensive inspection report, which marks The Lodge with the lowest possible score.

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The Shenstone Wood End restaurant has been exposed to a range of food hygiene issues, including potential contamination risks.

Frozen raw meat and poultry were stored in thin plastic bags directly on the ground. Some of the bags turned out to be partially open. Inspectors found cooked chicken tikka in an open container, cooling above a sealed container of spicy raw chicken tikka.

The report reads: “There was evidence of the potential for cross-contamination between ready-to-eat foods and raw foods within the company.

“The storage of raw vegetables, including onions and potatoes, (was) in bags directly on the floor.

“While food preparation surfaces that come into contact with food appeared visibly clean, the methods demonstrated by staff to clean and sanitize them were inadequate.

“Cleaning of non-food contact areas was also inadequate across the business.

“The cleaning materials used such as brushes, mops, sponges, scouring cloths and bottles of liquid cleaning chemicals were also dirty.

“Several different disinfectant products were found on the premises, some of which did not meet the UK standards required for use in catering rooms.

“There is evidence in all the premises of a poor standard of electrical installation.

“Some areas of the business do not have sufficient lighting to allow safe storage of food. These include the walk-in fridge, walk-in freezer, first floor stores and washrooms. Staff.”

The Lodge, in Birmingham Road, has been contacted for comment.

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