Seaside restaurant given worst possible hygiene rating by inspectors

A spokesperson for the restaurant said it has contested the zero rating and dealt with the issues.

A New Brighton restaurant has been given the worst possible food hygiene rating amid worries about food handling and food safety.

Portofino, in Union Terrace in the Wirral seaside town, was given the zero star rating by health inspectors, meaning urgent improvement is necessary.

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The most serious areas of concern were ‘hygienic food handling’ and ‘management of food safety’, which includes food preparation, storage and safety, among other things.

Portofino, Wirral.

A spokesperson for Portofino said the restaurant has contested the rating with Wirral Council, as they believe its standards of practice are much higher than a zero star.

Adding: “We’ve dealt with all the issues raised and where improvements were needed we’ve carried them out.”

Food hygiene report

The full details of the inspection have not yet been released, but information sent out with the zero star rating showed major improvement was necessary in a number of areas.

Hygienic food handling

Hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage

Standards found: Major improvement necessary

Management of food safety

System or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future.

Standards found: Major improvement necessary

Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building

Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building (including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control) to enable good food hygiene.

Standards found: Improvement necessary

What the restaurant has said

A spokesperson for Portofino said:“There were issues raised about how we store food, but there’s no cross-contamination and everything’s fresh.

“We sat down with inspectors and went through all of the relevant documents and all the things we need to do to improve. We’ve dealt with all the issues raised and where improvements were needed we’ve carried them out.

“Everyone with any sort of food handling [responsibility] has been retrained. We’ll definitely get a much better rating [at our next inspection].”