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Belsize Lane bakery dusts itself off for reinspection after poor hygiene rating

PUBLISHED: 11:54 06 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:15 06 June 2018

Roni's got a zero food hygiene rating after a visit in December

Roni's got a zero food hygiene rating after a visit in December

Archant

Belsize bakery Roni’s is hoping to rise again when food hygiene chiefs re-inspect it in the coming weeks – after a disastrous report seemingly led to its voluntary closure in December.

Camden Council said Roni’s in Belsize Lane, a favourite for many in the village, was shut for a day after a food hygiene inspection found mice droppings throughout the café.

An inspection on December 12 found “active and widespread mice activity throughout the entire premises”.

The inspector issued a closure order that was reportedly voluntarily complied with by owner Alon Kubi. The report, only recently published by the town hall, says food that was ready to be served was stored next to raw meat.

Council officers also found food was being stored on the floor of the bakery café’s kitchen, and there were “several high risk foods that were past their use-by date”.

As a result of the visit, Roni’s was given a 0 rating, meaning it needed “urgent improvement”.

It was a grim end to an otherwise busy 2017, during which the bakery and cafe expanded to include a former deli next door.

According to the council, the café closed for the day after the inspection. But Mr Kubi disputed the findings, saying the rating was because of mouse droppings in the basement of the deli.

“They were old droppings in the basement that we were renovating,” he told the Ham&High. “We weren’t using it for food preparation, and customers weren’t using it either.

“We had pest control in right away, and they said there were no mice.”

He also said he feels the need for documents and booklets gives an unfair weighting in the ratings process.

“We didn’t have Camden’s booklet about food hygiene, and that’s changed.

“A kitchen can be spotless, but not have the right documents, and still get a low score. It doesn’t reflect how clean it is.”

Mr Kubi also said the bakery doesn’t handle any raw meat.

He confirmed the café has recently been refurbished, and is due another inspection in the next few weeks.

Camden cabinet member Cllr Richard Olszewski said: “When food premises have health hazards such as mice, we will always step in to protect consumers.”

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