Gary Rhodes restaurant blames chef absence for zero hygiene blow

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 06:  Celebrity chefs Michel Roux Jr (L) and Gary Rhodes observe chefs preparing a meal of Brill Cherubin as they compete in the final round to win a 'Roux Scholarship' at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park on April 6, 2009 in London, England. The prize for being awarded a Roux Scholarship is, among other things, a cheque for GBP 5,000 plus up to three month's training at a 3-star Michelin restaurant in Europe.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Gary Rhodes;Michel Roux Jr

Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes’ waterfront restaurant in Plymouth has blamed a zero hygiene score on the lack of a head chef being available during a routine inspection.

Rhodes @ The Dome was one of five restaurants in the city to be awarded the lowest rating of zero out of five by the Food Standards Agency.

The assessment involves each venue being judged on areas such as how hygienically food is handled and prepared, and how well each business manages and records what it does to maintain the safety of its food.

But Rhodes@ The Dome claims there were mitigating circumstances for the score. In a statement to The Herald, the restaurant said: “Rhodes @ The Dome operates to the highest environmental health standards and probably has one of the most advanced food technology kitchens in the region — the low score relates to not having a head chef in post at the time.”

The paper said that a new head chef was apparently being trained at the time of inspection, meaning no one was available to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the Food Hygiene Act.

Rhodes @ The Dome said it is expecting a “perfect five” score once a re-test takes place.

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