‘You are bringing the town down’. That was the stark message from council bosses today as the dirtiest places to eat in the resort were named and shamed.
Latest findings from the Food Standards Agency reveal five takeaways and restaurants in the resort received a zero stars out of a possible five.
Inspectors from the Food Standards Agency review eateries every year to rank premises and owners must display the result in the front of their business.
Many of the restaurants and takeaways spoken to by The Gazette have vowed to make improvements, but one council cabinet member says standards should be higher.
Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for Public Protection, said: “It’s bringing the town down and it’s disappointing that we have been doing this for so long and people are still failing.
“I expect standards to be much higher. All those zero rated properties can expect to be very closely examined.”
Inspectors look at how hygienically food is handled and how it is prepared and cooked.
The structure of the building, its cleanliness and how records are managed to make sure food is safe, are also scrutinised every 12 months.
Another 53 takeaways and restaurants received a marginally better one-star rating following the unannounced inspections.
And one zero-star cafe says the inspection has spurred it on to make dramatic changes in a bid to clean up its act.
Greedy Pigs, on Holmfield Road, North Shore, says it now fully expects to receive a rating of either three or four stars on its next inspection.
Co-owner Gary Callaway said: “The building’s all been done up. The rating was more to do with the structure of the building.”
His fellow co-owner Aaron Peters added: “There have been issues with the building but we’ve gone beyond that and done everything that’s needed to be done. The kitchen itself is absolutely spotlessly clean.”
• Burger Dome - Talbot Road
• Greedy Pigs - Holmfield Road, North Shore
• International Food Store - Central Drive
• New Oceans Hotel - Blackpool Promenade
• Pie in the Sky - Abingdon Street Market
The number of eateries which now have zero stars is well down on this time last year, when 14 were given the bottom rating.
Coun Campbell added: “What we are seeing now is the ratings scheme really beginning to drive up standards in the town.”
Hameed Ghansar, owner of the zero-star rated Burger Dome, on Talbot Road, Blackpool, said: “Everyone works really hard but on the day they (the inspectors) arrived we were short staffed and we weren’t up to standard.
“We have turned it round since the inspection and since we got a new manager we’ve improved.
“I have got staff trained on a health and hygiene course and cleaning skills have been improved.”
Pie in the Sky, in Abingdon Street Market, Blackpool, is up for sale but of the other premises listed as having a zero star rating, New Oceans Hotel and Blue Oceans Restaurant, on Blackpool Promenade, were unavailable for comment.
Pie in the Sky, in Abingdon Street Market, Blackpool, received a zero star because some of their equipment was faulty and the cafe needed painting.
The premises is now up for sale but Julie Cunliffe, owner, said: “It needed a microwave, some paint replacing and tiles re-grouting. Four weeks later after the inspection in April someone came back and said everything was fine.
“They checked to make sure we had made the changes and said she would see us in 18 months for another inspection.”
International Food Store, on Central Drive, has closed and no-one was able to comment.