What will Jose say? Hygiene inspectors not impressed by Salford’s The Lowry Hotel

It may be the current abode of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho but Salford’s swanky Lowry Hotel hasn’t impressed food hygiene inspectors.

The five-star hotel’s website describes itself as a place “where luxury meets style” but unfortunately there were many areas of the kitchen that did not meet the standard when inspectors paid it a routine visit.

Part of the kitchen was described as “visibly black” in the subsequent Food Standards Agency report which gives the hotel only a “generally satisfactory” rating.

The minimum price for a night at the Lowry Hotel is £139 but, according to the report, that gets you long term dirt on paper towel dispensers and a 3/5 Food Standards Agency Rating.

The website adds that the hotel is “where things happen for the modern luxury generation”, it does not state that these “things” include cross-contamination of ready to eat and raw food equipment.

The report says equipment, including bowls, was used for both raw and ready to eat foods and chopping boards were stored together, including the raw blue fish board which was stored directly adjacent to the ready to eat board during preparation.

The Department of Health website says that poor food handling practices in the home or in food outlets can cause salmonella food poisoning.

The Food Standards Agency makes use of a piece of machinery which they use to swab areas within the kitchen to assess cleaning.

The machine then gives a number which tells the FSA how clean something is, the pass mark for a food contact surface is less than 20 and for a hand contact less than 50.

Wash hand basin taps in Manchester’s first five-star hotel were found to be at 479, almost 10 times the limit, whilst the walk in chiller handle was found to be at a similarly unsatisfactory level of 403.

Even after having been cleaned a knife used on ready to eat food gave back a 79 rating, which is on the borderline of the pass mark.

The report does say that these swabs are just hygiene indicators however they found the results to be very concerning.

The report states: “They suggest that there are issues with your cleaning and this should be addressed.”

Other areas for concern included staff washing their hands without using their elbows or paper to turn off the taps.

The report adds: “They were then observed washing equipment (a knife) in the wash hand basin.  This suggests that further training on company policies is required.”

A spokesperson for the Lowry said the hotel had been re-inspected and that a new score was to be published ‘imminently’. 

Picture courtesy of Duncan Hall, with thanks.

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