Restaurant chain angered by food hygiene mix-up

Koh Thai Tapas

A restaurant chain has hit out over its inclusion in a regional newspaper report on local restaurants requiring ‘major improvement’ in hygiene standards.

The Koh Group, which runs the nine-strong Koh Thai Tapas chain in the south of England, insists it fell foul of an admin error after its Ringewood branch was cited in a Daily Echo article naming 52 establishments in Dorset and the New Forest that need to improve their hygiene standards.

Earlier today the group moved to clarify the situation and pointed to FSA data showing that all its restaurants operate to the highest hygiene benchmarks.

In a statement posted on social media, CEO Andrew Lennox said: “The Food Hygiene Rating of the Koh Thai Tapas Ringwood restaurant is currently labelled as lower than the group’s usual standards following an inspection in October 2015. During this inspection it was highlighted that the main area of concern was in connection with the paperwork and documentation produced by the chefs at the time of the inspection.

“This oversight by the newly appointed member of the kitchen team was rectified immediately and the following week the inspector, Phil Thompson, revisited the site and advised that they were up to a 5 Star Standard.

“Unfortunately, the FSA website was not updated until recently for the Ringwood site and it was only at this point that the group realised that an official revisit had not been completed to replace the original report.”

The Koh Group said that the Ringwood site is now due for re-inspection imminently and it is wholly expecting that a 5 Star Rating will be secured as advised by the Environmental Health Officer in October 2015.

It added that hygiene ratings available for all of the Group’s sites on the FSA website show that its standards are “consistently high”.

Mr Lennox said the chain was unhappy that it had not been approached for comment prior to the information being published.

“Had they done so they would have been able to clarify the status with EHO. We remain committed to the highest standards of food hygiene and cleanliness and this was predominantly an admin error,” he said.

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