A RESTAURANT boss said the death of his father earlier this year prevented him from keeping a closer eye on the eatery after his business received the lowest possible hygiene rating.
Hamid Begh said he would have ‘kept on top’ of the situation if he had been working.
The company director was speaking to The Westmorland Gazette in the wake of his Indian restaurant, Far Pavilion, receiving a score of zero out of five for food hygiene.
Mr Begh said £10,000 had since been spent on improvements at the site in Bye-Pass Road, Bolton-le-Sands, and that the restaurant was due to have another inspection within the next three months.
The 32-year-old said that his father, Haroon, died from kidney failure at the age of 62 in May of this year.
“When he passed away, I wasn’t there at the restaurant,” said Mr Begh.
“Due to the pandemic, we have had a few staff furloughed.
“We are working with a smaller group.
“The environmental health officer, when he came, he picked up on general cleanliness of the kitchen, and the painting and decor wasn’t up to date.”
Mr Begh said the walls were ‘quite dirty’ and that the temperature of the restaurant’s main refrigerator was higher than normal at the time of the inspection.
He stressed changes had been made since the receipt of the zero rating – including the introduction of stainless steel walls.
“We closed for two weeks,” he said.
“I got plumbers in, I got joiners in, I got builders in.
“It’s disappointing, getting zero stars for the first time.
“Normally, we get four or five stars.”
The inspection was carried out on July 7.
The site was deemed to require ‘major improvement’ in all three inspection areas – hygienic food handling; cleanliness and condition of facilities and building; and management of food safety.
Its ‘zero’ rating indicated ‘urgent improvement’ was necessary.
Businesses in England do not have to display ratings at premises but are encouraged by the Food Standards Agency to do so.