Gino D’Acampo restaurant hit with another poor hygiene rating

The Liverpool restaurant owned by celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo has been slapped with a shocking food hygiene rating yet again.

A year on from being hit with a one-star assessment by environmental health officials from Liverpool Council, the Italian restauranteur’s business is in the bad books again according to new data.

Information made available online by the Food Standards Agency said major improvements were needed at the venue, which is housed at the INNSiDE Liverpool hotel on Old Hall Street.

An inspection was carried out by Liverpool Council officers almost 12 months after it was revealed the eponymous venue had won back a five-star grade.

A report released to the LDRS under a Freedom of Information request last year detailed how the business was warned of improvements it needed to make in terms of how it dealt with food back in September 2022. On that occasion, the restaurant was awarded a three out of five hygiene rating and deemed to be generally satisfactory.

A third inspection on 30 March last year confirmed local authority inspectors had been satisfied with the conditions at the business. However, the restaurant is now facing fresh scrutiny after health chiefs handed down a one out of five rating and called for significant improvement.

Last February, it was revealed how the business was previously told it was not following food safety management procedures. Some of the issues identified in that inspection were repeated issues of non-compliance noted at the previous inspection in September 2022.

The report into that inspection noted how frozen vacuum-packed lamb was not correctly labelled and did not include durability dates. In addition, the head chef informed health officials that all chilled foods should have a three-day shelf life.

Upon inspecting the in-house date labels in the walk-in chiller “it was clear that some vacuum-packed foods were being given a 10-day shelf life”. These included duck, burger mix, and Sunday roast.

A service trolley was spotted in the preparation kitchen with shards of broken glass on its shelf while heavy build-up of food debris and grease was found under the cooking range and the undercounter freezer in the main service kitchen.

Inspectors wrote, “Although you have a food safety management system in place, it became clear at the time of inspection that some of your procedures were not being followed in practice as noted above.”

In January 2022, officers found that a number of foods were still in a walk-in fridge with expired manufacturers’ use-by dates. Napoli style sausage was found to be a week out of date while 18 tortelloni pumpkins had a use by-date ranging from 3-15 January.

The offending food was voluntarily disposed of according to the report, with time frames set by the local authority to rectify issues. Mr D’Acampo’s first venture opened its doors in the former HSBC bank building on Castle Street almost six years ago and was replaced by the 200-cover Riva Blu.

A spokesperson for the business said, “We are extremely disappointed with this rating and do not believe it to be a fair and balanced reflection of the high standards of food hygiene, cleanliness, and management to be found at our Liverpool restaurant. Grounds for this have been formally raised with the local authority, who during their visit praised the restaurant on its standards of cleanliness, and an immediate request for re-inspection submitted.

“This is anticipated to be conducted in the coming weeks. We are committed to delivering the highest standards of service to our guests, and further to the local authority’s visit in March, the recommended improvements were implemented with immediate effect.

“Thorough audits have since been conducted, with independent expert consultants having confirmed that all necessary food hygiene procedures are in place and being followed. We continue to work closely with the local authority to conclude this matter and look forward to seeing a return to previous high scores in line with our other restaurants, all of which have the highest possible ratings of five.”

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