Out of date meat and poor cleaning led to a celebrity chef’s Liverpool restaurant being slapped with a poor hygiene rating.
It was revealed last week how Gino D’Acampo’s city centre restaurant had been hit with a one out of five hygiene rating after an inspection by Liverpool Council’s environmental health officials in January.
Information made available online by the Food Standards Agency said major improvements were needed at the venue at the INNSiDE Liverpool hotel on Old Hall Street.
The hotel opened in September following extensive renovations to the building. The 17-floor development includes the city’s second Gino D’Acampo restaurant, which has a sky bar.
Now, the findings of the local authority’s health inspectors have been revealed through a Freedom of Information request. The report - which is redacted in part to protect names and contact details – confirms the visit took place on January 17 and the main kitchen and food storage areas were assessed.
Officers found that a number of foods were still in a walk-in fridge with expired manufacturers use-by dates. Napoli style sausage was found to be a week out of date while 18 tortelloni pumpkins had a use by-date ranging from January 3-15.
Beef carpaccio was unlabelled in a walk-in freezer while seven beef fillet steaks were out of date. On the structural requirements of the premises, officers found hand wash basins were missing hand drying provisions, hot and cold taps were faulty in the main kitchen and hot water tended to be scalding hot.
The standard of cleaning in the main service kitchen “remains poor” the inspection found, despite some of the equipment being on wheels. Food debris and grease was noted.
Bare/exposed plasterboard behind booking equipment was also highlighted as an issue, with officers saying this could not be easily cleaned and needed to be repaired, cover or replaced as necessary. Water was found to be pooling in equipment, with a possible leak in a dishwasher.
Gaps around cabling at ceiling level in the dry store area could also allow pest access, the report warned. Writing about the confidence in management and controls of the business, inspectors said it wasn’t the first time the restaurant had fallen foul.
They said: “You are not following your food safety management procedure. Some of the issues identified are repeated issues of non-compliance noted at the previous inspection on 06/09/22.”
The offending food was voluntarily disposed of according to the report, with time frames set by the local authority to rectify issues. Mr D’Acampo’s first venture opened its doors in the former HSBC bank building on Castle Street almost six years ago and was replaced by the 200-cover Riva Blu.
A spokesperson for Gino D’Acampo Hotels and Leisure said: “We’re extremely disappointed with this rating and have taken immediate action to address the points raised. Our expert consultants have since conducted a robust audit and were satisfied that corrective measures have been met.
“A re-inspection has already been invited and we are confident of seeing a return to higher scores in line with our sibling restaurants.”