A Michelin-starred restaurant in Birmingham has been ordered to make “major improvements” to its hygiene standards.
Environmental health officers gave Turners in Harborne High Street a low hygiene rating after a routine inspection.
Turners, which is one of just three restaurants in the city to have clinched a Michelin star, was given a rating of just one out of five – which means “major improvement is necessary.”
After each of their inspections, Birmingham City Council’s officers award restaurants, bars, pubs, and takeaways with ratings – from ‘0’ given to those that need urgent improvements, to ‘5’ for those that are doing well.
The ratings are posted on to the Food Standards Agency’s website to give consumers a guide to the hygiene standards of places where they eat out.
Meanwhile, the city’s two other Michelin-starred restaurants – Simpsons and Purnell’s – were both given the top ‘5’ rating when they were each last inspected by officers.
Turners, which charges up to £80 per person for its tasting menu, was this month voted as The Good Food Guide Readers’ Restaurant of the Year for the Midlands.
But chef Richard Turner, who established the business, insisted the low hygiene rating – given following the council’s latest inspection of the restaurant in January – was not down to a slip in cleanliness.
“We take hygiene very seriously,” he added. “We were certainly aware of the rating given, however the issues raised were largely paperwork-related as we were unable to provide a completed Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point report at the point of inspection, so the inspector explained that she could not award a full rating due at the time.
“Also raised during the inspection were suggestions to make some structural adjustments due to some recent works. We are so confident of the cleanliness of our kitchen that we have in fact just opened it up to our customers for mid-week cookery classes.
“Anyone is welcome to visit our kitchen at any time, and indeed they often do.”
Nick Lowe, the council’s food operations manager, said the inspection rated the restaurant in three areas – how hygienically food is handled; the condition of the structure and cleanliness of the building; and how the business records food safety precautions.
He said: “It was the confidence in management, which includes food safety, that was the poorest. However, it’s safe to say that the two other areas weren’t rated highly either.
“It’s not just about paperwork, it’s about food storage and storage temperatures – the practices and procedures that they implement there.”
Last November the business had to axe four staff and cut back services.
At the time, the restaurant temporarily closed its doors for three days amid a restructure, which saw its holding firm Porterhouse Services dissolved and a new firm set up at Companies House.