Fareham takeaway Grameen Spice receives a zero-star hygiene rating with the manager blaming 'bad luck'

AN INDIAN takeaway in Fareham has been found to require ‘major improvement’ when it comes to food safety and handling, according to inspectors.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 2:44 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 3:15 pm

Grameen Spice, in 174 West Street, was inspected by environmental health officers from Fareham Borough Council last month and given the lowest possible hygiene rating.

Inspectors found a series of issues, including raw prawns that appeared to have gone off in a freezer, raw chicken kept in bloody water, and raw meat stored in unmarked bags.

The restaurant was in a ‘dirty’ condition, and staff were not dressed in aprons and were not seen to wash their hands during the inspection.

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Fareham Borough Council health inspectors were concerned about the state of some shellfish stored in the restaurant. Picture: Fareham Borough Council

In their report, an environmental health officer said: ‘It was apparent during my inspection that the level of food hygiene awareness amongst (the) staff was inadequate.’

One of the restaurant’s fridges did not shut property and was running at 11C.

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Inspectors also noted a hand sink was out of use as it was holding an electrical extension socket, which was part of an ongoing renovation of the kitchen.

Grameen Spice, in 174 West Street, Fareham. Picture: Google Maps

The restaurant’s manager, Aminur Rahman, said the low rating was due to the renovation works and ‘bad luck’.

He said: ‘There was only about four or five days’ worth of work, and they came in the middle of that. The renovation wasn’t essential – we just wanted to make the kitchen better.

Our target was to go from three stars to five. For all these years, it’s never been a zero.’

The restaurant was given a three-star hygiene rating in July 2019.

Health inspectors uncovered raw meat that had been defrosted and then re-frozen. Picture: Fareham Borough Council.

The inspectors acknowledged the renovation works, but noted that ‘not all poor standards of cleaning was as a direct result of the building works’.

Aminur added: ‘I found it a bit harsh – certain things were just bad luck. Like the aprons – we were waiting from them to be delivered.

‘That night one of our freezers stopped working and it was working a couple of hours later.’

Some raw meat was found stored in unmarked bags. Picture: Fareham Borough Council

The low rating has already had an impact on trade, according to Aminur, as it has meant the restaurant has been kicked off delivery app Just Eat.

Aminur said: ‘70 per cent of our business goes if we lose Just Eat.

‘It’s like shutting us down. I wasn’t annoyed – but I was disappointed.’

The council’s inspection team has since returned to the premises, with a follow up report to be published in the coming months.

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Chicken was found in a pool of bloody water inside a bucket. Picture: Fareham Borough Council.