Out of date steak and ham found at Gino’s city restaurant

Out of date steak and a packet of ham were behind celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo’s Liverpool restaurant being hit with a poor hygiene rating for a second time.

A little more than a year since environmental health officials took a dim view of cleanliness and food handling at the Old Hall Street venue, the Italian restauranteur’s business is in the bad books again.

The findings of Liverpool Council’s inspection – released through a Freedom of Information request – have detailed where the venue fell foul leading to a one out of five rating.

Among its shortcomings that prompted a call to make major improvements was the keeping of chateaubriand steak beyond its use by date as well as boneless beef found with a consume by date three weeks prior to March’s inspection.

The latest assessment was carried out by city health officers almost 12 months after it was revealed the eponymous venue had won back a five-star grade. This was following a damning assessment of how the restaurant handled meat and a failure to clear shards of broken glass in January last year.

The new report, which places fresh scrutiny on the business, said inspectors found four 16oz steaks past their use by dates in a downstairs kitchen. Additionally, a 32oz cote de beouf steak was four days past its date.

The manufacturer’s use by date on a packet of sliced honey roast ham had also elapsed when officials inspected the city centre kitchen. The report also noted a tray of vacuum-packed swordfish had been incorrectly date labelled while chilled boneless beef had been found with a should be consumed date of June 7, 2023. 

The officials gave strict instructions to the management going forward. The report said, “You must ensure to follow your written documented procedures in practice particularly in relating to date labelling and stock rotation.

“I note your daily food safety closing checks (out of date foods) conflict with what we found in practice during today’s inspection.”

The 17-floor development includes the city’s second Gino D’Acampo restaurant, which has a sky bar.

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.

In a statement following the publication of the initial one out of five review, a spokesperson for the restaurant 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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