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I am finished says bakery owner after ‘year of hell’

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A BAKERY owner will close down her business after being put through ‘a year of hell’ since being dropped to a one-star hygiene rating over incomplete paperwork.

Nelia Abreu, who has run Nelia' bakery in Victoria Avenue for 12 years, said she had made the decision to close the business for her health, following a difficult year. (Picture by Adrian Miller, 22178649)

Nelia Abreu, who has run the bakery in Victoria Avenue for 12 years, said she had made the decision for her health, following a difficult year.

The business will close for good in November, around a year since her bakery’s hygiene rating was downgraded from five stars to one following a visit from Environmental Health.

She said she had always taken pride in good hygiene, but admitted she found it difficult to find the time to keep cleaning records and other paperwork.

‘I am finished with this. I had a year of hell with Environmental Health. I have to look after my health and for that reason I am packing it in,’ she said.

‘My shop is clean, it has always been clean. There are places that are disgusting, the kitchens are disgusting [but they scored higher marks].

‘It should be about cleaning and hygiene, it should not be all about the paperwork.’

Ms Abreu said the one-star rating was not the only reason she was closing, but it had taken its toll on her.

‘It can really get you down,’ she said.

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‘I have to explain it to people and I know many people who do understand.

‘But many people don’t understand it’s because of the books and I did lose a few customers since that happened.

‘It is very hard, and the best thing for me is to get away from all of that.’

After the bakery had its star rating downgraded last September, Environmental and Pollution Regulation director Tobin Cook said that health inspector paperwork, such as cleaning records, pest control schedule and food storage information, was a legal requirement.

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Without any records of checks that are carried out, he said a business cannot effectively demonstrate that they are continuing to operate safely and take reasonable hygiene precautions.

Earlier this week Environmental Health launched a revamped version of the food hygiene ratings website.

It now includes a breakdown of how a business faired against the three key areas which are assessed during an inspection: hygienic food handling; cleanliness and condition of facilities and building; management of food safety.

There are currently nine establishments in the Bailiwick with a one star rating, out of 690 listed on the website.

Aaron Carpenter

By Aaron Carpenter
News reporter

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