A family restaurant that once faced closure due to dirty conditions underwent a dramatic transformation to be awarded the best hygiene rating possible.
The Eating Inn on Blackpool Promenade was given a damning hygiene rating of 0 in September 2016.
Defending his business at the time, restaurant owner Ben Shorrock said he believed inspectors had been ‘heavy-handed’.
Following a new inspection in August, he is now the proud owner of an impressive rating of 5 - the highest possible grade awarded to a restaurant.
He said: “It’s a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.
“The timing of the inspection can mean all or nothing. Unfortunately for me, our last inspection was on a Friday night in the middle of the Illuminations.
“This time they came at a much more convenient time at 5pm on a Thursday.
“I have gone from a 0 to a 5.
“A huge weight has been lifted because I could have been shut down and given an order that would prevent me working in food establishments for life.
“Luckily I did the things that they asked me to do and they came back and saw that everything was up to standard.”
The Eating Inn has stood as a family restaurant on Blackpool Prom for nearly 40 years, and serves traditional, hearty British meals, with vegetarian and gluten-free options available.
Mr Shorrock took over the business fully in 2012. He said: “It will be nice to take my name away from the shame.
“We were called the most disgusting cafe in Blackpool. Some of the comments were heart-breaking. The public were getting the perception of some horror story. Certainly there is nothing wrong with our kitchen now.”
The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme helps people choose where to eat out by providing information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, takeaways and food shops.
The scheme is run by the Food Standards Agency with the help of councils. Local authorities are responsible for carrying out inspections of businesses and handing out a rating they believe reflects the standard of hygiene on show.
Food businesses do not have to display their rating, though establishments with good ratings often choose to do so.
People can view inspection results online at www.food.gov.uk.