THE owner of a restaurant in York has "changed everything" after receiving a one-star food hygiene rating.

Indian restaurant Kalpakavadi, in Fossgate, received the one out of five score - meaning major improvement necessary - following an inspection by City of York Council on March 10.

Inspectors said the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building were "generally satisfactory", but they found "improvement necessary" in hygienic food handling.

However, the restaurant's management of food safety was rated as "major improvement necessary".

Owner Saji Kurian has spoken to The Press to explain what happened.

"It was really packed that day, it was Mother's Day and we were full," said Mr Kurian.


Manager Gijo Philip added that the restaurant had never been so busy at the moment the inspectors arrived to check the kitchen.

Mr Kurian said: "The staff were a bit panicked, no one expected them to come that day."

The pair went on to explain that due to the restaurant serving its food fresh for each order, the staff became overwhelmed in the kitchen and kept some raw meat too close to the cooked meat - which was spotted by the inspectors during their surprise visit.

After receiving the results of the inspection, Mr Kurian said he made significant changes to the kitchen at Kalpakavadi.

He said: "That was a great experience, we're never going to get it wrong again.

"We've changed everything."

York Press: Kalpakavadi have refurbished their kitchen following the inspectionKalpakavadi have refurbished their kitchen following the inspection (Image: Harry Booth)

The restaurant has since invested in a new fridge unit in the kitchen, along with two other units to aid hygiene. It has also spent money on a new organisational system for the walk-in fridge and freezer.

Kalpakavadi has now requested a reinspection. 

When the inspectors came to fill out paperwork before the future inspection, they were complimentary about the changes made at the site, the restaurant bosses said.

The new inspection is expected to come within the next month, and The Press will report the outcome.

Mr Kurian added that he also retrained all of his kitchen staff, and is now optimistic about the future of the restaurant - hinting at a new menu in the near future.

The owner of Kalpakavadi also owns Coconut Lagoon, in Clarence Street, York. Mr Kurian said the sister restaurant had only ever received five-star hygiene scores, and vowed to maintain that standard.