Cat cafe turns fortunes around with hygiene rating improvement

Liverpool’s popular cat cafe has turned its fortunes around after environmental health officials downgraded the venue last year.

Last August, staff at the Bold Street venue were left disappointed when an inspection from Liverpool Council officials left them with a one out of five rating and told to make major improvements.

The cafe, which invites patrons to enjoy tea and coffee while surrounded by dozens of cats that call the building their own, operates six days a week from 10am to 6pm.

A subsequent re-inspection carried out earlier this month has now confirmed an upturn in performance at the location, with a five out of five rating awarded, deeming it “very good” overall.

During its August inspection, council officials said while cleanliness and food hygiene standards were good at the Bold Street cafe, major improvement was necessary in terms of its management of food safety.

This encompasses a “system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future”.

Sarah Jane Close, managing director of the Cat Cafe brand, which has a second operation in Manchester, said the rating of one out of five was owing to a mix-up with documents. She said, “Unfortunately we misplaced our paperwork.

“Environmental health had no problems with the cleanliness of the cafe and we passed everything on site with regards to health and cleanliness.  However, the staff member they were talking to did not know where the Safer Food Better Business manual was kept.

“A manager was not on site when they inspected, and we were full and short-staffed, and they spoke to the wrong person.” 

Following the disappointing result in August, Ms Close said the business immediately approached Liverpool Council for a follow-up inspection. 

She added, “At Cat Cafe we strive to achieve excellent food hygiene standards so we are happy to have had our environmental health rating restored to where it should be”. When the cafe, which has been in the city for more than four years, was inspected prior to last year, officers felt the venue was “generally satisfactory.”

The Liverpool cafe was the brand’s second venture after the success of its original Manchester location. On its website, the company said its “aim is to enable people to become more mindful and present in their day-to-day lives.”


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