Very poor food hygiene ratings in SE1

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Friday 6 May 2016 10.25am
I was searching the FSA's food hygiene ratings database for SE1 and was shocked to see a number of restaurants I use with very low rating

Al Masar, Borough High St - recently opened - rating 1
Pizza 2 Go, Tabard St - 0
Blue eyed maid - 1
Masters Super Fish Bar - 1
Del Aziz, Bermondsey - 1
Riva Sandwich Bar (Borough High St) - 1 (not to be confused with the Café Riva next to Borough Station which has a top rating of 5)
Jenny's Burgers - 1
Olley's Fish and Chips - 1

Restaurants should be forced to display their rating but of course only businesses with a top rating of 4 or 5 do this
Friday 6 May 2016 1.17pm
wow -that is an eye opener
Friday 6 May 2016 1.36pm
We stopped going to Masters after its 1 star rating. A shame because the food is great and we were never sick, but restaurants with such poor ratings shouldn't be allowed to stay open
Friday 6 May 2016 1.53pm
Yeah, it's not quite as bad as East London where we moved from but there are some right stinkers around SE1 (and surrounding areas!). Even our beloved Crystal China on Tower Bridge Road has a 2 :(

It's worth noting that the overall score out of 5 is generated from 3 other scores that come from the inspection:

* structural compliance: cleanliness, layout, ventilation, etc
* food hygiene & safety: food handling practices, storage, planning, records, temperate control, etc
* confidence in management: h&s knowledge of workforce, training, track record, etc

So while a place might be spotless to the eye, there may be a lack of planning, training and paperwork in the background resulting in a low score.

I hope this isn't considered advertising (please delete if it is) but if any of you order takeaway from Just Eat, Hungry House or Deliveroo you may be interested in a Google Chrome extension my partner and I made:

It's a free tool that once installed displays the official hygiene ratings on those takeaway sites without you having to do any manual searching. JustEat have just started providing the ratings in results themselves (after substantial prodding!) but they seem to still be testing it and get a lot of them wrong. The other sites have made no effort to add the listings to their sites as far as I'm aware, so we aim to prod them in that direction. Hope it helps.
Friday 6 May 2016 10.18pm
The Draper Residents Hall in Elephant & Castle scores 4 out of 5 stars. Just saying...
Saturday 7 May 2016 8.27am
Your post about the brilliant Crystal China panicked me, especially as we were there last night. Thankfully you must have confused it with elsewhere...They got top marks and scored the full 5 in Feb 2016. Panic over :-)
Sunday 8 May 2016 8.05pm
Ah emu, that is great news! I definitely hadn't confused it - I am however guilty of not looking up the rating in the past 6 months. Really happy to see they've sorted out whatever the issue was as the food is incredible.

Thanks for letting me know!
Monday 9 May 2016 10.10pm
I am the best judge of taste and food hygiene as I like what I like and am sick as a dog if it is not good food hygiene wise. I think Masters is excellent and sometimes the "system" does not do justice to those who do not have English as a first language or those who don't play the game because they have done it for a lifetime better.

I have undertaken and passed a food hygiene course myself and many small businesses do have excellent standards but either the premises or the training let them down. I am not so anal that I need to see a 4 or 5 star rating based on three years ago..because I know that means nothing as well.
Monday 9 May 2016 11.31pm
A high score in food hygiene is no guarantee of good, tasty food, and vice versa.

The 'Goldilocks Zone' is achieved by a sensible balance between the two: excellent food that will not kill you.

Take for example the Dragon Castle (SE17, but yeards away from SE1): it has received some very positive reviews (one - two - three ), yet the Food Standards Agency has only awarded it one star...

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