A CURRY house that was once given the lowest possible food hygiene rating has now been awarded five stars.

In December 2015, the Elaichi Tandoori Restaurant in Millbrook Square, Grove was given a rock bottom zero stars by inspectors from the Vale of White Horse District Council.

Standards were found to be ‘generally low’ and inspectors had no confidence in the management, who were found to have ‘little or no appreciation of hazards or quality control.’

The restaurant recovered to a three star rating in May 2016 as confidence in management and compliance with industry codes improved.

It has now completed the transformation, achieving the highest possible hygiene rating of five stars.

Inspectors visited the premises on Saturday, January 20, and despite the unusual timing of the inspection, manager Abab Miah said his staff impressed.

He said: “We were a little surprised to encounter the inspection on Saturday evening, generally its not normal to receive an official visit on Saturday evening, but we cooperated fully.

“We were very busy with 40 to 50 meal orders going through the kitchen.

“The inspector witnessed all the cooking that took place in the kitchen for waiting takeaway and dining customers and went through with each staff member, checking on their hygiene knowledge and training certificates.

“After about an hour of inspection he came out of the kitchen and put a five rating sticker on our customer entrance door.

“He also made a positive comment on the food cooking methods prepared in his presence and said he was satisfied in witnessing the food was prepared freshly and at a proper serving temperature.”

Previously inspectors had made several suggestions to improve hygiene at the business including ensuring staff were suitably trained, food properly defrosted and that food should not be stored in an upstairs flat because people smoked in the same area.

Mr Miah said that the restaurant ‘made hygiene the priority’ after the original inspection and they ‘improved all areas of the process.’

He added: “Our rating was not the best, it was not what we wanted.

“Now we have achieved the highest rating and it is due to our high standards.

“It shows we have improved in all areas including storage, temperature control, cleaning and staff training.

“For us serving food safely to our customers is the most important thing, we are very pleased.”