Bristol's 'best tapas restaurant' given a ZERO food hygiene rating

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An award-winning tapas restaurant named as Bristol's best has been slapped with a food hygiene rating of zero.

Bellita, on Cotham Hill, won the title of best tapas restaurant at this year's Bristol Good Food Awards.

But the restaurant was given the lowest score possible in the Food Standard Agency’s (FSA) national food hygiene rating scheme after inspectors paid a visit in February.

Inspectors said "major improvement" was necessary in the hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.

Bellita was named 'best tapas restaurant' in the Bristol Good Food Awards 2018

Improvement was also necessary in the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and the building itself. This category covers things like hand washing facilities and pest control as well as appropriate layout and ventilation.

What does '0' mean?

12 places in Leicester have a food hygiene rating of zero.

The hygiene standards are ranked on a scale of 0-5.

At the bottom, ‘0’ means urgent improvement is required.

At the top, ‘5’ means hygiene standards are very good.

If the top rating is not given, the officer will explain to the owner/manager of the business what needs to be improved, and the action that needs to be taken.

A statement on the FSA website says: "The food hygiene rating or inspection result given to a business reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection or visit by the local authority. The food hygiene rating is not a guide to food quality."

Finally, major improvement was also needed in how food safety was managed. Inspectors said there was not evidence of sufficient checks in place to ensure that food sold or served was safe to eat , that staff knew about food safety or that the inspector had confidence standards would be maintained in future.

The rating follows a September inspection by the Food Standards Agency

The news will come as a blow to Bristol foodies, with Bellita considered one of the city's best eateries.

The restaurant was featured in the prestigious Harden's guide, which showcases the best dining establishments in the UK.

Bellita was also featured in the Waitrose Good Food Guide 2018.

BristolLive has attempted to contacted the restaurant for a comment, but has received no response.

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