SOME of Barrow’s most popular eateries and takeaways have received a food hygiene rating of three or below.

Out of the 534 food serving premises rated by Barrow Borough Council 48 were rated between zero and three, the latest statistics from the Food Standards Agency reveals.

A score of zero means ‘urgent improvement is necessary’, while a score of three means ‘generally satisfactory’.

The highest score that can be achieved is five, which means excellent.

Among those who received a score of three or below included popular eateries The Custom House, Kapadokya, The Cumbrian Pie Company, The Chocolate Room and Salvana’s.

Keiron Heart, general manager of the Custom House, said: “After inspections we have implemented some structural changes to improve our food hygiene rating.

“We have also noticed that over the years inspectors have regularly changed and it tends to be that each inspector focuses on a different issue to the other so sometimes it is hard to know what we are expected to do.

“We are happy to implement changes if required, but we would possibly like to see more informal communications between ourselves and the council as to how we can improve.”

Anthony Bennett, owner of The Chocolate Room who received a score of one, said: “There were certain things that I agreed we needed to improve on, but there were also things that I didn’t.

“This was our worst score and anyone who knows me and comes in knows how much I care about the food and the idea of giving anyone food poisoning turns my stomach.

“Prior to the inspection we were shut for two and a half weeks and we had also run out of sheets for our food safety management pack. This meant we had to use our regular restaurant diary, which impacted on our score.

“We also have an open kitchen so everything we do can be seen, with 90 per cent of our customers practically in our kitchen.”

Ivor Churcher, commercial team leader at Barrow Borough Council, said: “Our main priority is working with the businesses on ways to help them improve.

“This can be achieved through various different ways, from organising revisits, holding advisory visits or as a last resort giving enforcement notices.

“Our is aim to give each businesses advice so that when we do return for a future inspection they have improved.”

There was only one food establishment that received a zero rating, which was Barrow Spice on Cavendish Street, where food inspectors found that food handling practices required major improvements.