Hygiene improvement for Saffron restaurant

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AN INDIAN restaurant has been given a four-star rating by food hygiene bosses at Borough Hall, nine months after it was given a zero-star mark by the council.

Saffron, based in Tavistock Street, was given zero stars in February. But after an unannounced inspection on November 10 it was given the second-highest rating available.

Restaurant boss Ikki said: “To me, this is a breath of fresh air.

“When the news of our previous rating came out two months ago, it was easy for people to miss that the inspection had been in February. We have been in Bedford for 11 years, and as soon as we received that result we did everything we could to improve.

“We take pride at Saffron in providing good healthy food, with fresh ingredients, in an attractive venue, with good service.

“It’s not just an Indian restaurant, it’s a family restaurant.”

In total 883 premises come under the remit of the food hygiene rating scheme, which is part of an umbrella programme by the government’s Food Standards Agency,

So far 881 have been inspected in Bedford Borough, from pubs, restaurants and takeaways to school canteens and retirement homes.

Of those, 176 have been given the top rating of five stars.

According to the Food Standards Agency, a zero-star rating means “urgent improvement necessary”.

In Central Bedfordshire, the council runs a similar scheme called Scores On The Doors.

The Times & Citizen last reported on the food hygiene ratings at September, when nine outlets received zero stars.

Since then one other business - D P Clarke Butchers in The Arcade - has also received zero stars.

At the time of the food rating scheme’s official launch in Bedford earlier this year, Bedford Borough Council spokesman Jon Hall said: “We want to give customers the knowledge to make an informed choice about where they eat. We have done lots of surveys in the past, and it is something people want to know about.

“The scheme also gives good businesses a chance to display how good they are.”

Find out the ratings for outlets across the borough by visiting www.food.gov.uk