Restaurants given the lowest food hygiene rating have pledged to clean up.
Among eight Portsmouth establishments on a zero rating from the Food Standards Agency is the Water Margin at Gunwharf Quays.
Water Margin group chairman John Waits said: ‘The zero rating is effectively a technicality.
‘The rating was suspended because on the day of the inspection we had no hot water, which was due to a tripping of the hot water system, That was fixed the same day.
‘But because of the technicality we have our rating suspended, which gives us a zero rating.
‘It is frustrating, and of course it is difficult to explain to people – people instinctively assume there is something more sinister than it is.’
Khan’s Takeaway in Eastney Road, Southsea also has a zero rating. Director Imran Khan said: ‘Since the rating we have almost finished all the work. We have done work in the kitchen to make sure that fewer pests get inside.’
Three premises in Fareham are on zero in the information held by the FSA and obtained by The News on March 27. One is chip shop Whistlers in West Street.
Manager Derek Goodall said: ‘I took over four weeks ago. I have introduced a new cleaning regime to get it up to standard.’
The owner of Shanghai Cottage in Chichester, who refused to give his full name, said everything had been cleaned and after a reinspection a four-star rating was given and he was waiting for it to come through.
It is frustrating, and of course it is difficult to explain to people – people instinctively assume there is something more sinister than it isJohn Waits, Water Margin
A member of staff at Sarah restaurant in Fawcett Road, Southsea, said steps were being taken to improve, such as a hand washbasin being installed in the kitchen.
Follow the links below for our comprehensive list of every food hygiene rating across the Portsmouth area
The call came from the Food Standards Agency as its records show that more than a dozen establishments across the area have the lowest possible hygiene score.
Robert New, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for environment and community safety said: ‘If restaurants fail to improve and consistently put the public at risk then we may have to resort to court action.
‘We’re pleased that the quality of our food businesses is generally excellent, with more than 60 per cent achieving the highest possible five rating.’