FOOD hygiene inspectors have hit out after claims from York restaurants that they have been unfairly rated in recent inspections.

City of York Council are carrying out the latest food hygiene inspections at York's food businesses.

However, inspectors have told The Press that there has been a drop in the latest food hygiene scores after the most recent inspections in the city.

The Press has previously reported that Vitoria restaurant on Coppergate received a food hygiene score of zero in November 2021, and then a score of two following a reinspection in March 2022.

A spokesperson for Vitoria told The Press: "Like many other businesses in York we feel we have been targeted with these scores in an attempt to pay for revisits that often take months to happen."

York Press:

In response, Anthony Dean, Public Protection Manager (Investigations and Compliance), said: "When businesses receive a zero rating they are asked to voluntarily close and make changes to improve their standards to a satisfactory minimum level.

"If a business refuses to close then City of York Council will take the necessary action to ensure that the business closes.

"Once the necessary changes have been made the businesses will be revisited to ensure the issues previously identified have been addressed, and then they will be allowed to reopen.

"Their previous score of zero will still apply until they receive their next official programmed inspection where they will be provided with a new Food Hygiene Rating Score based on the conditions found at that time.

"Where a business wants to have an inspection before their next scheduled inspection, in order to improve their score, they can apply for a rescore visit.

York Press:

"Businesses are required to pay for these additional rescore visits to ensure that City of York Council has sufficient resources to carry out all programmed food hygiene inspections and ensure fairness for all businesses in York.

“Where a business feels that their score is incorrect they can ask questions of the inspecting officer and, if still concerned by the score awarded, lodge an appeal."

Anthony added: "All food hygiene inspections are carried out by professionally qualified officers who follow guidance issued by the Food Standards Agency.

“Every year we also carry out consistency training with every food safety officer at City of York Council, as well as across the country, to ensure the same standards are applied consistently across the city, and the country.”

The council explained that the time between inspections varies from six months for the higher risk businesses to two years or more for the lower risk businesses, plus any newly registered business will receive an inspection.