RATS, cockroaches and effluent were discovered in food businesses across Dorset and the New Forest in the last year.

In total more than 2,200 food hygiene warnings were issued to establishments in the county and neighbouring Forest district.

Poor conditions and hygiene breaches in Bournemouth led to two businesses being served with voluntary closure orders following inspection by the council.

Spice of Lahore in Old Christchurch Road was issued two notices due to an infestation of cockroaches.

Council inspectors found effluent in food areas at West Way Service Station in Castle Lane West.

After issues were rectified the premises were allowed to reopen.

Bournemouth Borough Council also served Wok 2 Go Noodle Bar in Holdenhurst Road with an hygiene emergency prohibition notice to close the premises due to an active rat infestation, which it had to address. Webster Family Butchers in Wimborne Road was served with a notice to prohibit the use of a vacuum packing machine for both raw and ready to eat food.

The annual statistics on food hygiene and standards monitoring by local authorities were published by the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

In Bournemouth, 471 written warnings were issued to establishments due to food hygiene concerns in 2017/18, with a further seven hygiene improvement notices.

Louise Jones, Bournemouth Borough Council’s environmental health manager, said: “Generally, it can be seen from the food hygiene ratings detailed on the Food Standards Agency’s website that the majority of the food businesses in Bournemouth are compliant.

“1,381 of our food businesses have a 5-rating meaning that they are very good, 176 have a 4-rating meaning they are good and 75 have a 3-rating meaning that they are generally satisfactory.

“There are 65 business that require improvement or major improvement currently on a 2 or 1-rating. There are currently no businesses with a zero rating.

“All businesses should be able to achieve the top rating of 5. If they do not, the Environmental Health Officer will outline the improvements that they need to make, and advice on how to achieve a higher rating.”

“The business owner/manager can request a re-visit to get a new rating when all the necessary hygiene improvements have been made.”

The number of warnings issued across the rest of the region were:

  • 275 in Poole
  • 69 in Christchurch
  • 97 in East Dorset
  • 167 in North Dorset
  • 26 in Purbeck
  • 300 in West Dorset
  • 155 in Weymouth and Portland
  • 658 in the New Forest

New Forest District Council also issued two voluntary closure orders to establishments in the last financial year. These orders related to Central Convenience Store in Southampton Road, Ringwood and a second establishment, which the council would not disclose as it was an ongoing case.

A NFDC spokesperson said the local authority focuses its attention for inspections on poorly performing businesses.

Across the district 73 per cent of all businesses have achieved a 5-rating, with slightly more than three per cent achieving ratings of 2 or less, where improvement is necessary.

“Businesses with a lower rating will normally be subject to revisit and possibly other action to ensure that standards improve, however the rating is given during at the initial inspection and is a measure of the standards observed at a point in time,” the spokesperson said.

“Businesses may apply for a re-inspection once necessary works have been undertaken, with a view to achieving an improved rating.”

Assessing the national picture, Nina Purcell, director of regulatory delivery at the FSA, said: “It’s encouraging that local authorities have made improvements in the percentage of interventions achieved and are continuing to target their activities at food businesses where food safety risks are the highest or where food fraud is more likely.

“However, the 10 per cent reduction in sampling by local authorities remains an issue and while the percentage of interventions are increasing there remains a shortfall of 13 per cent for food hygiene.

“The low percentage of planned interventions achieved for food standards is also a continuing concern.”