DIRT and debris were found throughout the kitchen of a zoo café during a damning food hygiene inspection brought on after a complaint from the public.
The Beehive Café at South Lakes Safari Zoo in Broughton Road, Dalton, was told ‘major improvement’ was necessary after an inspection on August 24.
Following a Freedom Information Request submitted by The Mail, it was revealed that inspectors visited the café following a complaint from the public concerning unhygienic conditions within the catering outlets at the zoo.
The report reveals that a full days worth of raw burgers were being stored at room temperature in the kitchen during the inspection which required immediate action.
The standard of cleaning seen in the kitchen, including the work surfaces and other food contact areas, such as the sink, was ‘generally poor with dirt and debris throughout’, the report states.
Inspectors said a thorough deep clean and disinfection is required.
Evidence of flies were also found throughout the kitchen, which can contaminate food and food surfaces that they land on, the report said.
Inspectors noted that the refuse containers in the kitchen did not appear to have been emptied at the end of the previous day and did not have lids.
Concern was raised over the level of food hygiene awareness among staff members which inspectors labelled as ‘inadequate’.
They said: “Whilst I understand that the catering supervisors have completed a Safer Food Better Business pack, none of the staff present were aware of the pack or could produce it during the inspection. This matter was also raised at the last food hygiene inspection
“There were no cleaning schedules available for the Beehive area. Given the poor standard of cleanliness seen, you are strongly urged to draw up daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedules for each of your units alongside details of how each area should be cleaned
“It was apparent from discussions during my inspection that the level of food hygiene awareness amongst your staff was inadequate on certain important food safety matters related to their work responsibilities. In particular the lack of cleaning throughout the Beehive and that the days’ supply of raw burgers were being stored at room temperature throughout the day.”
We attempted to contact South Lakes Safari Zoo but were unable to receive a reply before this publication went to print.