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6th October 2016

Think you could tell the difference?

A four star hotel restaurant in London has been fined £24,034.17 after a series of food hygiene failings, including a chef who reportedly thought mouse droppings were spices.

The Sanctum Soho Hotel restaurant was closed by health inspectors in May 2015 after they saw a mouse run across the floor, found mouldy food and dirty equipment. The latest inspection in June this year saw the restaurant awarded a food hygiene rating of 2 out of 5.

Fiona Sinclair, Director of STS, says this case highlights the importance of food hygiene: “The bad publicity which Sanctum has received shows just how hard it is for a company to restore their reputation after a case like this. Despite having immediately changed their staff, including the chef, they have a lot of work ahead in order to gain the top 5* rating and restore their reputation. This is a well known hotel with a lot of celebrity clients which shows that nobody is immune when it comes to food safety.”

The Sanctum Hotel put out a statement which said: “We took the immediate decision to voluntarily close the restaurant for 6 days so that we could urgently address the issues raised on the routine inspection. Since then we have made major improvements and have taken measures to ensure these issues won’t happen again, including the hiring of a new team of kitchen staff and award-winning chef and hygiene specialist.”

Fiona Sinclair says: “We cannot overstate the importance of proper food safety and hygiene procedures. By following best practice, the Sanctum hotel should be able to raise their hygiene ratings and, over time, they may put this behind them and establish a reputation for excellence. We would advise any food business owners to put priority on following food hygiene standards in order to protect both their customers as well as their own reputation.”

STS is a leading UK food safety consultancy, providing training and guidance in all aspects of food safety and food hygiene. To find out more call 01252 728 300


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