Cognac has blamed a chef for letting safety management slip who has since been sacked
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A popular French restaurant in Hull says putting misplaced faith in a new chef resulted in it receiving a shock zero food hygiene rating.
Cognac has been a staple on Chanterlands Avenue for several years and is one of only a handful of French restaurants in the city. The venue has a high rating on both TripAdvisor and Google reviews and previously had a top hygiene score of five.
But when environmental health inspectors from Hull City Council visited on July 28 they were less than impressed with what they saw. The restaurant owners were told they needed to make urgent improvements in relation to food safety management which ensures food is safe to eat in terms of expiry dates and temperature storage.
Read more: Zero rating for Beverley's Gelato of Harrisons after staff accused of 'eating ice cream from tubs'
Improvements were also necessary in the hygienic handling of food, including preparation, cooking and storage. The cleanliness of the building was also below standard.
But a spokesman for Cognac said that, since the inspection, huge improvements have been made and he is confident they will get a top score of five when a new inspection takes place. He has also blamed a chef they hired for failing to keep adequate records and oversee the hygiene measures needed.
The spokesman said: “In the last few months our long-serving chef left and we had problems with the new one we employed. We have since let him go and employed a new chef. It was in the middle of all this we had the inspector visit.
“We have now employed one of the best chefs in Hull and she is all over the health and safety side of things. We have made all the necessary improvements and we have applied for a new inspection.
“The inspection was very bad timing and came amid a number of issues, including recovering from the Covid pandemic. It was mainly the record-keeping around food storage and temperature which the previous chef let slide.”
But the spokesman says he is confident Cognac’s top hygiene rating will be restored very shortly. He says they have worked closely with the council in the last few weeks.
He said: “It was very disappointing. We have been here seven years and never had any issues like this before. But we have worked with the environmental health team to make the improvements and they are very happy with what we have done. We are confident we will get our score of five back.
“Records need to be kept daily and the previous chef did not do that. But we are back to normal now. We have an open kitchen so customers can see in so we have nothoing to hide”
Cognac serves up classic French and Mediterranean dishes such as French onion soup, frog legs and snails, as well as steaks and fish dishes. It has a rating of 4.5 out of five on TripAdvisor and the same on Google reviews.
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