Updated: Tuesday, 7th April 2020 @ 8:10am

Curry Mile shame: One in ten restaurants on Rusholme strip ‘need major improvement’ to hygiene

Curry Mile shame: One in ten restaurants on Rusholme strip ‘need major improvement’ to hygiene

Exclusive by Glen Keogh

More than one in ten restaurants on Rusholme’s world-famous Curry Mile were classed as needing ‘major improvement’ at their last food hygiene inspection, MM can reveal.

They all received a shocking Food Hygiene Rating of just one, which means that they must follow strict guidelines for the restaurant set out by food safety officers if they wish to continue trading.

Six restaurants on Wilmslow Road – otherwise known as the curry mile – and one on Clarement Road, which sits adjacently, all received the extremely low score.  

At each inspection, a food safety officer inspects the restaurant on how hygienically food is handled, the condition of the structure of buildings and how the business manages and records what it does to make sure food is safe.

Ahmed Ali, Labour Councillor for Rusholme, said it should be a prerequisite for establishments in the area to have a high rating.

“The restaurants should want to improve their food and invest in their restaurants to bring improvements which will attract more people to their business,” he said.

The seven restaurants around the Curry Mile with the low Food Hygiene Rating of one are: Al-Amir Restaurant; Home Restaurant; Punjab Sweethouse; Sanam Sweethouse Restaurant; Shahenshah Tandoori Restaurant; Shesha Garden and Islamabad Grill & Restaurant.

There are currently more than 70 takeaways, cafes and restaurants on the strip, meaning the chance of eating in a substandard restaurant could be even higher than one in ten – as that figure includes all eateries.  

Mr Ali added: “Hopefully these scores will make the restaurants make the improvements that are necessary.

“However, they should be displaying their rating properly, so if someone has a rating of four or five above their window, I assume people will eat there instead.”

However Mr Ali was shocked to find Sanam Sweet House on the grisly list, as he admitted to visiting the restaurant and confectioners regularly.

“It’s a very popular place so I’m surprised,” he said. “We want to attract lots of visitors as we already get many students visiting so this should change.

“We want to be the best and obviously at the moment some establishments aren’t.”

The restaurants on the list divide opinion over their food and décor.

Websites such as TripAdvisor, which allows users to submit reviews on their dining experiences at restaurants and hotels from across the world, see a mixture of people heralding ‘cheap and cheerful’ food, and those disgusted at unhygienic and dirty premises.

The Islamabad Grill & Restaurant at 199-201 Wilmslow Road was inspected as recently as April 18, when it was slapped with the low score.

However, on June 21, TripAdvisor user Asif9211, found that things had not yet improved.

“Went there with some friends for a quick, cheap meal at £8.99 per head,” he said.

“The decor is old style with some broken tiles and a shabby interior. Food-wise the starters were just ok.

“Unfortunately, I found a hair in my seekh kebabs and after informing the waiter nothing happened.

“The choice of mains was fair but they need drastic improvement in their taste.”

The Food Standards Agency say that any business should be able to achieve the top rating of five.

Officers will explain to the owner or manager of the business what improvements are needed to achieve that rating after the inspection.

Businesses given ratings of zero or one will be given advice and guidance on how and when improvements need to be made and also when these changes need to be implemented.  

However, of the seven restaurants highlighted as having the low rating on curry mile, Home Restaurant, Shahenshah Tandoori Restaurant and Shesha Garden were all inspected more than seven months ago.  

The manager of Sanam Sweethouse, who declined to give his name, said he believed the inspection and the low level given to his restaurant was unfair.

The restaurant was the most recent to be inspected, with officers giving their score on May 29 this year.

“The reasons were not valid,” he said. “They gave us it on things like drainage issues.

“Of course, we are trying to improve it – we’re going to do a lot more cleaning and things like that.”

The manager declined to discuss the inspection further, and did not reveal the timeframe in which his restaurant had to implement the changes.

He then said it was down to the owners to decide the immediate course of action, however they were unavailable for comment.

Picture courtesy of Ron Dollete, with thanks.

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