Celebrity restaurant gets zero rating for food hygiene

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Marco Pierre White's Steakhouse in the Cube in Birmingham received shocking feedback from the Food Standards Agency during a visit in March. They gave the restaurant zero out of five stars for food hygiene.

So what was so bad?

Failings

The restaurant certainly looks impressive. It's on the 25th floor, has views across the city in every direction and a rooftop terrace. The food starts at about £15 for a main course (and goes up to £35 for some steaks). A meal can easily set you back £50 a head, in what Pierre White calls 'affordable luxury'.

However, behind the scenes, it seems as though things haven't been quite so polished. They were rated zero for food safety after a visit in March. This doesn't mean there was any harmful risk to customers. A spokesperson from the restaurant told the Birmingham Mail: "They made some recommendations based around the volume of people we feed in our restaurant. No danger or nothing untoward."

The Daily Mail quoted a Birmingham City Council spokesman, who confirmed the zero rating and said a sticker and certificate had been sent to the restaurant so they could display their result. This could stand for the next 12 months - unless the restaurant requests another inspection.

The restaurant told the Mail that they had been visited by the Environmental Health department, received informal feedback with recommendations, and have acted on what needed addressing. They also hired a third party food safety consultant, and have been visited since with very positive feedback.

Not alone

The newspaper pointed out it was the third posh restaurant in the city to have received a zero rating - after Malmaison in the Mailbox and Chaophraya on Spiceal Street at the Bullring. In total there are 140 venues with this rating in Birmingham.

It's not the only establishment with celebrity links to have fared poorly in an inspection either. Last month Jamie Oliver's butchers Barbecoa, received just one star after inspectors found mouse droppings, mould on carcasses (which the butcher points out is what happens when the eat is aged and is safe to eat) and out of date beef. It closed voluntarily for 24 hours to sort the issues out.

However, these failings at high-end eateries pale into insignificance when compared to some of the more shocking tales to have emerged from less glamorous venues in recent months

Shocking

Last month, the owner of Man V Food cafe in Cardiff was given a two year suspended sentence for food hygiene breaches, which included bags of open and stinking raw frogs' legs, and foul grease coating the walls and floors. He was also found guilty of benefit fraud - as he had been claiming benefits for the three and a half years he was running the cafe.

In January, the Aysha Sweet Centre on Lees Road in Oldham was made to pay £4,000 after health inspectors found pans caked in layers of grease, which had turned black and sticky over time and were so thick that it was impossible to see what colour the pans had been originally. The kitchen itself was in a dire state, with peeling walls, flies crawling over the surfaces, and no soap or hand-drying facilities.

We reported in November about the chicken take-away joint which was closed down after officials found an incredible level of filth and a mouse infestation. Walthamstow council had gone to court to ensure the shop stayed shut until it no longer posed a risk to health.

In August last year, a Leeds pizzeria was temporarily shut - and made to pay a court £2,000 - after a customer found a cockroach baked into the crust of a pizza. After the inspectors were called, they also found cockroaches in pans, inside the chiller and running up the wall.

And in January 2013 the Hummingbird Restaurant in Stroud Green Road in Finsbury Park was closed down after inspectors found a cockroach infestation in the kitchen. They were called after a customer found one in his chicken roti.

Gruesome photos of closed down takeaway

Gruesome photos of closed down takeaway