THE manager of a top Bournemouth hotel has reassured patrons that food hygiene is a top priority after health inspectors launched an investigation.

Alex Dwornik, who manages the Park Central Hotel in Exeter Road, said there have been "many, many changes" since the hotel's restaurant was awarded a zero food hygiene rating in July.

Inspectors said "urgent improvement" was needed at The Crab after health and safety breaches were uncovered.

However, Ms Dwornik said staff responsible for the issues have been dismissed and the restaurant's next inspection, which will take place in October, will see a significantly higher rating awarded.

"Many, many changes have been made since that time," she said.

"Straight away, after we received the score, a dismissal was made.

"We had a very talented head chef working with us.

"All of the issues of concern have been fixed.

"A follow-up inspection found us 'satisfactory' and there will be a full inspection on October 5, when we will be rated again.

"We expect our rating to be much higher.

"We take this very seriously and we started taking steps to improve our rating as soon as we found out."

The restaurant holds two AA Rosettes.

During the summer inspection, concerns were raised under the category ‘management of food safety’, which includes assessment of the system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat and evidence that staff know about food safety.

Improvements were also needed in categories ‘hygienic food handling’, which includes preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage, as well as ‘cleanliness and condition of facilities and building to enable good food hygiene’.

Louise Jones, Bournemouth council environmental health manager, said further inspections are planned.

“In June this year the council received a complaint regarding The Crab restaurant in Exeter Road that warranted an immediate investigation,” she said.

“As a result of this complaint a thorough investigation was carried out at the premises, followed by a full food hygiene inspection."