Revealed: The 600 Birmingham eateries failing to meet basic food hygiene standards

A Birmingham Mail investigation has revealed that some of the city’s best-known eateries have fallen foul of environmental health inspectors – scoring a ‘0’ mark for cleanliness and hygiene.
Boots in the Bullring
Boots in the Bullring
Hundreds of city restaurants, shops, takeaways, schools and businesses have been ordered to take urgent action after failing to provide basic standards of hygiene.
A Birmingham Mail investigation has revealed that some of the city’s best-known eateries have fallen foul of environmental health inspectors.
Incredibly 75 got the bottom rating, with another 539 getting the second worst score.
In the wake of the revelations, council officials have called for new rules to force filthy food outlets in Birmingham to display their scores in a bid to shame them into cleaning-up their acts.
After each inspection, city council officers award restaurants, bars, pubs, food sellers, takeaways and other eateries with hygiene ratings – from ‘0’ given to those that need urgent improvements, to ‘5’ for those that are doing well.

The site currently lists 75 businesses in Birmingham that have been rated with a ‘0’ – including Del Villaggio in the Bullring (inspected May 2012); Cafe Zest at House of Fraser in Corporation Street (inspected November 2012); and Pavilion Tea Rooms at Edgbaston’s Botanical Gardens (inspected October 2012).
And a staggering 539 city establishments have been rated with a score of ‘1’, which means inspectors found major improvement to hygiene standards was needed.
Amongst them is Nuvo in Brindley Place (inspected September 2011); Asha in Edmund Street (inspected September 2011); Bodega Bar & Cantina in Bennetts Hill (inspected January 2012); Strada at the International Convention Centre (inspected April 2012); and Celebrity Indian Restaurant in Broad Street (inspected July 2012).
And it’s not just restaurants faring badly. Kitchens in the city’s schools, community facilities and places of worship have also been ordered to clean up. Mosque Raza-Islamic Educational & Cultural Centre in Aston (inspected October 2012) was rated ‘0’, while a ‘1’ was given to Harborne Junior School (inspected October 2012); Hall Green’s Church of the Ascension Playgroup (inspected September 2011); and Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif in Small Heath (inspected March 2012).
Each outlet is given stickers to place in their windows, showing their hygiene rating, however it is not mandatory that they are put on display.
Now members of the council’s licensing and public protection committee are calling on the FSA to change its rules to force those performing badly to reveal themselves. Coun Neil Eustace, (Lib Dem, Stechford and Yardley North), said: “The only premises you see displaying these stickers are ones that have been rated highly, it’s obvious that those that have scores of ‘0’ or ‘1’ will not want to put that on show for their customers to see.
“It’s about time that it was made to be a compulsory requirement, customers have a right to know about the standards of cleanliness at the places they are eating or buying food from.
“No one wants to get food poisoning. If premises are forced to display their rating it will in turn ensure that they take the relevant steps to improve their hygiene standards.”
The committee is also urging the FSA to extend the scheme to show the hygiene ratings of all businesses that deal with food – including slaughter houses, wholesalers and manufacturers.
Nick Lowe, head of environmental health, said: “These premises tend to be at the head of the food chain and feed down to the retailers. It would be a useful tool for retailers to know the hygiene standards of the premises they are using to purchase the food they sell to their customers.”
He added that many of the premises rated badly would have since considerably improved standards with the help of his officers and the majority are likely to score a higher rating when they are next inspected.
Premises with ‘0’ hygiene rating include:
Amazon Brazil Bar & Restaurant, Broad Street (inspected June 2012);
Boots, Bullring (inspected October 2012);
Frydays, Martineau Place (inspected May 2012);
Nata Portuguese Pastelaria, Martineau Place (inspected February 2012);
Premises with ‘1’ hygiene rating include:
The New Alexander Theatre, Station Street (inspected February 2012);
Cafe Soya, Upper Dean Street (inspected September 2012);
BBQ Village, Station Street (inspected January 2012);
Tin Tin Cantonese Restaurant, Brindley Place (inspected September 2012);
Joe Delucci’s Ice Cream Kiosk, Bullring (inspected November 2012);
Jojolapa, Newhall Street (inspected February 2011);
Locanta Piccalilli, Ludgate Hill (inspected January 2012);
Penny Blacks, Mailbox (inspected March 2011);
Pitcher & Piano, Brindley Place (inspected September 2011).
For more results visit
POORLY-performing restaurants and businesses claimed they have taken extensive steps to become more hygienic.
Simon Tupper, managing director of the Botanical Gardens, said all issues highlighted by officers were dealt with within 24 hours,
“We have always been proud of our previous ‘5’ rating and are therefore we were extremely disappointed and upset that the inspection highlighted concerns, all of which immediately dealt with to the satisfaction of the environmental health officer, who revisited the next day,” he added.
“A full review was undertaken of procedures and additional safeguards were put into place; which included regular independent audits by consultant environmental health specialists, which now indicates that when the Pavilion is re-audited will receive a ‘5’ rating.
“We would like to apologise for any concerns raised and the lapse in our previous high standard, which we have previously highlighted was immediately rectified.”
Nabou Curello, spokeswoman for Nata Portuguese Pastelaria, said: “We have done a lot of things since the last inspection, including training courses to make sure all staff understand all aspects of health and safety and food handling.
“We have more than doubled the hours our cleaners work and we have refurbished all the fridges to ensure they are at the right temperatures.
“We dispose of all food at the end of the day and only serve everything that is freshly made.” A spokesman for Del Villagio added: “We’ve extensively changed the way we operate since the inspection and we have new hygiene processes in place.”
House of Fraser said: “Cafe Zest has been one of our a long-term concession partner of House of Fraser, and we are working very closely with them to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.” A spokeswoman for The New Alexander Theatre said: “There were issues at the time of the inspection relating to evidence of mouse activity.
“Following the inspection this service was immediately reviewed and increased to the full satisfaction of the FSA and to maintain our own exacting standards. The theatre was subsequently re inspected within days and found to have addressed the issue fully.” A spokeswoman for Strada said: “We have fully addressed the cleanliness issues raised in April 2012, which caused the low rating at our Birmingham ICC restaurant.”
Pitcher & Piano said: “All issues were rectified immediately, in accordance with the report.”
A Boots spokeswoman said: “The hygiene of our stores is of utmost importance to us and we always strive to ensure we provide a safe, healthy environment for our customers and colleagues. Our rating from Birmingham city council was an isolated incident and we immediately took steps to improve the condition of our store.”
The Birmingham Mail attempted to contact all other restaurants named in this article but they were unavailable for comment.

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