City's Grade II listed boutique hotel gets one-star food hygiene rating

St Giles House Hotel in Norwich

St Giles House Hotel, in St Giles Street in Norwich, Norfolk, has been given a one-star food hygiene. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

One of Norwich’s oldest boutique hotels has said covid-related staffing issues contributed towards it being given a one-star food hygiene rating. 

The team behind St Giles House Hotel, in St Giles Street, say they are "extremely disappointed" after being given the second lowest rating, from zero up to five, following an inspection by Norwich City Council on February 9. 

But general manager Liza Dunnell said it was during a time when the hotel had "significant staff cover issues" due to Covid-19.

"Recruitment challenges meant we had a limited food offering in place, delivered by a temporary team that were not fully conversant with our required documentation and processes," said Ms Dunnell.

"The issues raised have been immediately addressed and corrected by the hotel team.

"At St Giles, we pride ourselves on our high hygiene standards and the quality of our food offering.

"The incoming appointment of a new head chef will ensure that we can now look forward to the re-inspection, where we are confident that we will achieve a top rating."

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Food contamination risks, temperature control and poor practices in the kitchen were among the issues reported. 

The inspector noted that foods were found past the use-by date, including prawns and crayfish tails, and raw meats were also being stored near ready-to-eat foods. 

The report stated: “Despite being a large kitchen with good work top and chiller space you could not demonstrate adequate controls as laid out by the Food Standards Agency guide to E Coli.  

“There was no clear system for separate storage or preparation of raw meat. Raw meat was stored above and directly next to ready to eat foods in more than one location. 

“Many ready to eat products had not been date coded such as egg mayonnaise, desserts, sausage rolls."

Following the visit, the food hygiene inspector reported that the retraining of staff would be required. 

It added: “Although your policy has identified food hazards or the methods of control at critical points in your operation, it was clear that this was not being followed in the kitchen.” 

The inspector, however, did report that the hotel maintained a “good standard” of cleaning and maintenance with only a few minor repairs and improvements required.