Home Office says hotels for asylum seekers 'must meet health and safety legislation' after Metropole given food hygiene rating of just 1
The Home Office has insisted that all hotels used to house asylum seekers coming into the UK 'must meet relevant health and safety legislation' after it emerged that the Metropole Hotel received a dismal food hygiene rating of 1 at last inspection.
The Britannia-owned hotel on Princess Parade, Blackpool, has been used to house several hundred Afghan asylum seekers since late September.
It was recently given a food hygiene rating of just 1 by Blackpool Council's food control section following an inspection there on August 26.
They found multiple breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations. The kitchen was dirty, with grime found on the floors, doors, wash basins, stairs and other areas. Food debris was found strewn on the stairs, on the fridge, and inside cutlery drawers.
There was build-up of carbon on the outside of the cooking pans, an accumulation of old dough inside the mixer, and meat residue found on a 'clean' meat slicer, putting guests at risk of cross-contamination.
The report also found that various taps in the ladies' toilets were loose and needed securing, that a gaming machine that was being taken apart for maintenance had not been cordoned off, and that a third floor window had a crack in it and needed replacing.
Today, a Home Office spokesman said: "All the hotels the Home Office uses must meet relevant health and safety legislation and provide their latest health and safety risk assessment" - adding that the kitchens in the Metropole had been reassessed with significant improvements.
They said: “Due to unprecedented demand we have had to use temporary accommodation such as hotels to manage demands on the asylum estate and we encourage all local authorities to volunteer their support and work with us.
“The Home Office has been clear about the use of asylum accommodation in Blackpool and we have been communicative with the Council’s chief executives, and have met with local stakeholders such as police and public health providers as well as officers from the local authority.
"Serco have confirmed that kitchens in the hotel have had significant improvements made and have been reassessed. Britannia have had independent audits conducted on kitchens with high scores provided, with a further audit due next week."
Britannia Hotels, which owns the Metropole, was approached for comment.