A highly rated Lincoln village pub, where people rave about the food, has been hit with the lowest possible hygiene rating.
The White Hart in Nettleham received a zero out of five stars for hygiene.
West Lindsey District Council inspectors told management that their hygienic food handling needed major improvement, cleanliness of the building needed improvement, and management of food safety needed urgent improvement.
The zero hygiene rating was published this week after an inspection on August 30, but the pub claims inspectors were much happier after another visit at the start of October.
The pub was already operating with a 1/5 hygiene rating since July 2018. Before that it had 3/5 since February 2017.
Mark Allibone, the head chef and landlord, told The Lincolnite that the kitchen had a few problems on the day.
He said: “On the morning of the visit the fridge had gone down and the sink was blocked, but I already had someone coming out to fix it.
“There are things that I could do better, but it’s hard when I do the cooking all by myself. This is a small business. Unfortunately, paperwork is very important these days.
“It would be so much easier for me to just serve frozen food but I want to serve fresh food to our customers.
“I would invite any of our customers to see behind the scenes in the kitchen, anyone would be very welcome.”
Customers rate the pub very highly online, with an average of four and a half stars across nearly 500 reviews.
The pub landlord also claimed that the low rating was partly due to the old nature of the building and particularly the kitchen, where they need to finish adding wipeable cladding.