High Fives for Horsham district’s food hygiene

Billy's on the Road Cafe. Billy's has achieved high food hygiene ratings. Pictured are staff member's L-R Meg Fuller and Becca Burston. Billinghurst.  Picture : Liz Pearce. LP111114BC03 SUS-141111-131938008

Billy's on the Road Cafe. Billy's has achieved high food hygiene ratings. Pictured are staff member's L-R Meg Fuller and Becca Burston. Billinghurst. Picture : Liz Pearce. LP111114BC03 SUS-141111-131938008

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A Horsham nursery is leading the way in the food hygiene stakes, contributing to the 86 per cent of 956 local businesses now holding ‘good’ or ‘very good’ ratings.

The latest Food Standards Agency (FSA) food hygiene inspections by Horsham District, Chichester District and Waverley Borough Councils showed impressive scores across the Horsham district.

Busy Bees nursery on Bartholomew Way appreciate the importance of food hygiene, and were thrilled to score five out of five when inspected on October 20.

“We are catering for little children so their health and safety is always at the forefront of everything we do,” said manager Rebecca Bourne. “Their little lives are in our hands.”

She added that food and nutrition is one of their top three priorities, and a recent silver catering mark from the Soil Association recognises their commitment to good quality, freshly prepared food.

The proud manager added of meal times: “We make sure it’s a social experience.”

Ms Bourne believes that regular inspections are a good measure for her two chefs to work towards.

She said: “It’s about that feeling of accomplishment.”

Head chef David Bergers added: “It’s vital that we provide a healthy, clean environment for our children and staff.”

RESTAURANTS AND CAFES

Almost 65 per cent (244) of restaurants and cafes in the Horsham district scored a glowing five out of five.

Last month, Alpacas on the Run in Faygate (October 15) and Billy’s on the Road in Billingshurst (October 1) were also given the ‘very good’ stamp of approval.

Around a quarter (98) of Horsham restaurants and cafes scored four out of five.

Among these was Restaurant Tristan, in East Street, which was inspected on August 21. It has also been rated the second best restaurant in Horsham by Trip Advisor.

Trip Advisor favourite Restaurant 107 on Cranleigh High Street and popular chain Bill’s in Market Square, Horsham, which was inspected on September 5, also hold the ‘good’ rating.

Lower down the scale, 26 restaurants and cafes scored a three with ‘generally satisfactory’ standards, seven scored two (improvement necessary) and one pub restaurant scored just one out of five (major improvement necessary).

HOTELS, BED & BREAKFASTS, GUEST HOUSES

Of the 48 properties listed, just one business scored three out of five.

Some 21 businesses have the four rating, including the Y Centre and Chequers Hotel in Pulborough.

Michelin starred South Lodge Hotel, Amberley Castle Hotel and two local Travelodges are among the 26 hotels and guest houses with a five.

Springfields Hotel in Horsham recently got top marks when inspected in August.

MOBILE CATERERS

Proving that Horsham’s mobile caterers are just as clean as the restaurants, of the 33 premises inspected only three scored a three, which was the lowest score.

Six mobile premises were rated four, including Horsham’s Ramsay inspired Hell’s Kitchen and Apple and Cor in Billingshurst who were inspected on September 1.

Hell’s Kitchen’s Helen Hand said she feels that it is more difficult for mobile premises to get the highest scores, but they are inviting inspectors back with the hope of getting full marks this time.

Two thirds of the Horsham district’s mobile caterers (22) hold the five rating, including Flaming Tasty in Billingshurst, Food for Thought in Pulborough and Mike’s Snackbox in Southwater.

PUBS, BARS AND NIGHTCLUBS

In this category there were 108 businesses inspected, largely pubs and the majority impressed inspectors with 44 per cent (48) given a four and 29.5 per cent (32) on five.

Among those recently inspected were the Hen and Chicken in Horsham on September 4 and The Countryman Inn in Shipley on October 1, which both scored five.

The Crabtree Inn in Lower Beeding, recent runner up for the Best Sunday Lunch in the Observer Food Monthly Awards, got top marks from the FSA, as did The Three Compasses in Cranleigh.

Twelve businesses needed improvement with scores or one or two, and eighteen had the ‘satisfactory’ score of three.

TAKEAWAYS AND SANDWICH SHOPS

Of the 45 takeaways in this area, four have scores of one out of five, and nine have a three.

But 20 per cent of the businesses (seven) scored a four, including Potters Fish and Chips in Partridge Green which was inspected on September 5.

A further 42 per cent (19) scored five, including Mandarin House in Horsham which was visited on September 24.

SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, CARING AND CHILDCARE PREMISES

In the schools and colleges category, 94 per cent of the 89 achieved a five star hygiene rating.

Four schools were rated four out of five, and one was rated a three.

Similarly in the hospitals, childcare and caring premises, 89 per cent of the 54 scored a five.

All the businesses in this category scored at least four out of five.

RATINGS

The hygiene rating shows how closely the business follows food hygiene law. It is not a guide to food quality.

The FSA website reads: “It’s not easy to judge hygiene standards on appearance alone, so the rating gives you an idea of what’s going on in the kitchen, or behind closed doors.”

Businesses are judged on how hygienically food is prepared, cooked and stored; the layout, ventilation and cleanliness of buildings; and how the manager monitors food safety.

Businesses are encouraged to display their scores in their doors, and full ratings can be viewed at www.food.gov.uk