Celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has attacked the Scores on the Doors hygiene rating scheme for being overly bureaucratic after his Oxfordshire pub was awarded one out of five stars.
South Oxfordshire District Council said the score - which was the first for the Greyhound in Henley-on-Thames - reflects the need that improvements need to be made to the pub's food safety management and hygiene standards.
Worrall Thompson, who admitted food had been found beneath his fridge and oven during the inspection, told the BBC that all the public want to know is if they are going to be poisoned.
"The public don't care if the paperwork isn't done," he said. "It's treating everyone as if they haven't got a brain. It has got absurd, the amount of paperwork you have to do.
"There's this in-built hatred between environmental health officers and chefs. We should be working together."
Dorothy Brown, the council's cabinet member, said that Worrall Thompson is mistaken that the Scores on the Doors scheme is overly bureaucratic and driven by paperwork. "It is in fact driven by the need to improve food hygiene standards," she said. "We think residents have a right to know the standards of places they choose to eat at.
"For any businesses with low scores, we offer advice and assistance, from filling in paperwork, which is available in different languages, to offering training on food hygiene, so there should be no reason to not to comply.
"Alongside the inspections the council works with the premises on action plans to achieve higher ratings in the future and this work has led to the number of five stars in the district rising from 11 last year to 48 at present. Our aim is to work with businesses so we can continue to raise standards and improve customer satisfaction."
By Janet Harmer
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