Culture Editor Ilina Jha reports on Joe’s Bar receiving a score of 2 on Food Hygiene Rating.
Joe’s Bar has received a score of only two out of five on their latest Food Hygiene Rating, with the comment ‘Improvement Necessary.’
The restaurant and the bar area received separate ratings from food safety officers at Birmingham City Council, both receiving a score of two.
The food hygiene inspection of the restaurant section of Joe’s Bar covered three key areas: ‘hygienic food handling’ (which includes preparation, cooking and storage); cleanliness and the condition of facilities and the building (including appropriate pest control and hand washing facilities); and ‘management of food safety’ (systems and checks to ensure food is safe to eat, and staff are aware of food safety).
It was found that ‘improvement [is] necessary’ for both hygienic food handling and the cleanliness and condition of facilities, whilst management of food safety was considered generally satisfactory. The same findings were evident in the inspection of the bar.
These disappointing food hygiene ratings for Joe’s Bar compare very unfavourably with other food establishments on campus. For example, the Beorma Bar and the Physics Coffee Bar are both rated 5 (‘very good’), while the Deli and Cantina at University Centre has a rating of four (‘good’).
Jacob Dyke, a UoB student who is a member of the Education Committee, said:
‘Joe’s Bar recently underwent a food inspection, resulting in a rather disconcerting rating of 2 out of 5, diverging from the university’s typical 5 out of 5 standards,’
‘Despite an imminent re-inspection, I believe the revised rating should not fall below 4 out of 5. Additionally, attributing the initial poor rating on Freshers’ Week timing is unacceptable—consistent high standards are expected, as seen in other establishments.’
Redbrick reached out to the Guild of Students for a comment. The Guild responded, reporting that they had consistently held a 5-star rating since September 2017, until the recent inspection.
‘The EHO identified operational shortcomings, resulting in a temporary 2-star rating. We set about rectifying operational matters immediately and actioned a number of building fixes in September and October, which required the use of contractors,’ said the Guild. ‘We have implemented new procedures and updated a number of existing measures within the kitchen and bar areas.’
The Guild confirmed that a follow-up inspection on October 24 ‘confirmed significant improvement’, and ‘all required actions’ were completed. They stated that ‘additional structural enhancements’ are scheduled to occur in December.
“We are confident we are taking the necessary steps to meet the standards expected of us by our members and customers, and will seek a reassessment as soon as we have completed the remaining works with an aim of re-achieving our 5-star rating.”
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