The Michelin-starred Cross at Kenilworth has reclaimed a food hygiene rating score of five after receiving a score of just one in January this year.
The new rating followed a re-inspection by Warwickshire District Council Environmental Health Officers on 27 July.
The recent assessment found the Cross’s standards to be ‘good’ in all areas, showing hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, reheating, cooling and storage; standards of cleanliness and condition of facilities; and correct systems and checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat.
Owner Andreas Antona said: “It has been frustrating to wait six months to be re-inspected despite the issues having been addressed within days of the January visit. However, we understand that this is the protocol and are pleased to have the five-star rating back.
“The team are, as ever, fully focused on the future of the business and making the Cross the best it can be and we’d like to thank everyone who supported us over the past few months.”
The Cross originally gained the highest hygiene rating after it reopened under the ownership of Antona in September 2013. It was operating at a four-star level before it was marked down in January 2017.
The deduction came after environmental health officers found a vacuum packer was used to pack raw and ready-to-eat foods, food was being kept in a Hold-O-Mat at 62°C instead of the Food Standard Agency’s minimum temperature of 63°C, and there was no evidence that staff had been trained correctly to use the water bath.
However, chef-patron Adam Bennett defended the restaurant’s hygiene practices and told The Caterer: “At the time of the inspection a newly employed apprentice was waiting to commence his training. Because of his age and inexperience, his duties were limited to non-high-risk foods only until he gained the necessary training.
“Another chef had been fully trained in food hygiene during his full-time college course alongside his professional cookery training, but was unable to provide his certification on the day of the inspection. All other chefs previously completed Level 2 training with Level 3 training now underway.”
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