Welwyn Indian restaurant's hygiene rating soars from zero to five

PUBLISHED: 15:00 28 May 2017

Taj Mahal in Welwyn. Picture credit: Danny Loo

Taj Mahal in Welwyn. Picture credit: Danny Loo

Danny Loo Photography 2016

The co-owner of an Indian restaurant in Welwyn is "ecstatic" after its hygiene rating soared from zero to five.

Taj Mahal in High Street was one of 12 food outlets highlighted by the Welwyn Hatfield Times as having the lowest possible rating – meaning they required urgent improvement.

However, Obi Rahman and his business partner have turned the restaurant around, and following a re-inspection by the borough council, it was graded 5/5 (very good).

Mr Rahman said: [I am] ecstatic and very proud of our team.

“It shows that we have taken the next step, not only for ourselves, but for our customers too.”

The father-of-three, who has been co-owner for just over a year, said the previous zero rating came as a shock to the staff – but said it highlighted how the restaurant needed improve.

He added: “Working in conjunction with the council and really focusing on teamwork, we were able make sure all aspects of the scoring was covered, but also implemented a simple and effective approach, and of course [got] new equipment.”

Explaining some of the lessons learnt, he continued: “[We needed] to make sure we note all the work we have done to keep everything up to standard, by not noting all works this can show that we may not have noticed faulty equipment, for example so by documenting it shows we are on top of everything.”

Mr Rahman also advised struggling businesses to embrace the help of the borough council.

“Always work with the local authorities,” he added. “We have taken additional courses and identified areas we needed to improve in management, as the scoring shows.”

A council spokeswoman said: “Our food officers were pleased to find the restaurant has taken on board the advice and guidance offered to them on their previous visit, which has been reflected in their new score.

“Taj Mahal has set a really good example to other food businesses and we hope others with lower scores will also be encouraged by their improvement.”

The borough council looks at three elements when scoring: hygiene compliance (food handling practices and procedures, and temperature control), structural compliance (cleanliness, layout, condition of structure, lighting, ventilation, facilities), and confidence in management.

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