How council is winning the war on dirty takeaways in Portsmouth

Badly stored food at the Star of Asia in Marketway in Portsmouth in September 2017. The business was prosecuted Picture: Portsmouth City Council
Badly stored food at the Star of Asia in Marketway in Portsmouth in September 2017. The business was prosecuted Picture: Portsmouth City Council

ALMOST all restaurants and takeaways in Portsmouth have high hygiene ratings, it has been revealed.

At yesterday's environment and community safety meeting it was reported that in July this year 95 per cent of food businesses were awarded a food hygiene rating of three or above by Portsmouth City Council.

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The food hygiene rating system ranges from 'urgent improvement necessary' to 'very good', with the highest number of establishments in the city given the best possible rating.

Only three premises were branded with the 'urgent improvement necessary' label.

Speaking at the meeting the council's environmental health manager, Richard Lee, said: 'The fact that 95 per cent of businesses were compliant I would suggest is a good result.

'We need to make sure that we continue to offer quality food in Portsmouth. Not just for the health reasons but because we all love food. It is part of our lives and a part of our street scene here. It underpins the economy.'

Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council's environment boss, added: 'That the number of non-compliant businesses is at its lowest in five years is a good thing really.

'Thank you for a very detailed report.'

The report also showed that the number of due interventions for food businesses that were not carried out within the proper time frame by the council were at their lowest in five years, with 143.

Mr Lee explained that part of the reason for this was the level of food business churn in the city – meaning a high number of new businesses were registered as well as ceasing to trade. Between 2017 and 2018 322 new food businesses opened and 405 closed.

He added that the intervention team were constrained by resources and that priority is given to the most high risk premises of which there weren't a high number this year.

But he did clarify that all necessary interventions were carried out, although some may have been completed outside of the original time frame.