February 21, 2023 11.59 am This story is over 9 months old

School meals provider promises issues fixed after one-star hygiene rating

They argue that food safety was “never in question” during the inspection

A company providing school meals for children across Lincolnshire has expressed disappointment at its one-star hygiene rating – vowing to return to their ‘five-star standards’ as soon as possible.

Ideal School Meals, based in Spalding, operates out of eight kitchens across Lincolnshire and supplies almost 600 school meals to over 60 settings every single day.

However, its service has come under scrutiny after a recent hygiene inspection by West Lindsey District Council’s department of environmental health flagged up issues at one of its operating sites in Gainsborough.

A food hygiene rating of one star was given to Ideal School Meals, and a letter was sent to customers by the company’s director explaining the rating.

The letter states that the company felt “duty-bound” to inform people of the inspection, but says that a follow-up visit from environmental health left inspectors feeling satisfied that standards were again being met.

A formal re-inspection is believed to be due before mid-April, where a new rating will be given.

Caroline Clark, director of Ideal School Meals, said that the rating was a “snapshot of one visit” and that “absolute food safety” was never in question despite the one-star score.

She said: “We are extremely disappointed that our consistent five-star food safety rating at our Gainsborough kitchen has recently reduced to a one-star.

“Immediate improvements have already taken place, including remedial works and retraining, followed by a visit from expert CIEH consultant and re-visit from local authority.

“Both parties have concluded that all areas of concern have been dealt with to their full satisfaction.

“The score is a snapshot of one visit and following the work undertaken we have invited a re-rating from the local authority.

“We are confident that following the next visit the score achieved will firmly allay any fears and be in line with the Elite Status that we had carried up until this month.

“As part of our actions we are happy to welcome a new area manager, who is focused on the standards returning to and remaining at the highest level.

“At all times we have been assured by West Lindsey inspectors that the absolute food safety was never in question and has always been safe, but of course apologise for any concerns caused to parents. Our commitment to our children’s food safety and nutrition remains our passion.”

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