Food wholesaler jumping for joy at return to top rating
ONE of the island’s major food wholesalers has bounced back to having a top food hygiene rating after a paperwork issue meant it was temporarily downgraded.
Milton Produce, a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, has been given the highest possible rating of five stars by environmental health officers.
It went down from five stars to one earlier this year and the business took immediate action to correct the issues raised and requested an urgent reassessment.
Operations manager Adele Morrow was delighted with the latest news.
‘We are ecstatic that we are back to five stars. I was jumping around the room, because obviously we were all very disappointed and very disheartened when we were downgraded.
‘We are in the process of introducing a new service for our customers and the environmental health officer showed up in the middle of it.
‘The room is already there, but we had to put in some sinks, electricity and plumbing, but now it’s all been done and we’ve been reassessed and we’re back to the highest rating.’
Milton Produce had always been considered a ‘low risk’ establishment because of what it sells and Mrs Morrow suggested that a period of grace of a week or two could be offered to businesses.
‘We should have been given the opportunity to put it right, instead of someone coming in and telling us that the rules have now changed.
‘We said straightaway it was not a problem for us to comply with what they wanted with immediate effect, which we did because we always want to be 100%.
‘We’ve got certificates going back for years and years to say that everything we do is perfect, so I was a little disgruntled.’
Environmental health officers rate all Guernsey food businesses from zero, meaning urgent improvement is necessary, to five stars, which indicates the highest standards.
The results are all published on the States of Guernsey website, gov.gg. The idea is that consumers are able to find out the quality of hygiene at every food shop, cafe, pub and restaurant by simply checking the website.
Users can enter a business name into the search function, or they can search by postcode or star rating.
It gives people the ability to judge for themselves whether they consider the hygiene standards of a food outlet to be good enough and it is hoped it will drive businesses to improve their standards.
Currently, there are 688 businesses on the website and 442 have five stars – none have the zero rating.