MORE than a dozen food establishments in Swindon have been given a score of zero during hygiene inspections this year.

Inspectors have told 14 restaurants, takeaways and shops around the borough they need to make urgent improvements.

It brings the total number of establishments with a score of zero - out of five - in Swindon, to 21.

Although this is an increase on last year, Swindon Borough Council, which runs the inspections in partnership with the Food Standards Agency (FSA), says this is in line with the number of inspections which have taken place in 2015.

The inspections take place unannounced and an establishment can score poorly for a variety of reasons - including because there is a risk to the health of customers.

Louise Doughty, public protection team leader for Swindon Borough Council, says despite the publicity and information available to restaurateurs, it is disappointing there are still low scores, but they have to be balanced against many high scores in the town.

She said: “There is an element of frustration but there is a balance. We have seen an increase of 25 per cent of those who had a rating of one now scoring three or higher.

“I don’t think there has been a sudden spike in bad practices and it is relative to the number of inspections we carry out.

“There have been some places which have started new practices which they appear to have struggled with.”

When inspectors visit a place they look at a variety of factors but Louise denies a zero score would be given for poor paperwork alone.

“For somewhere to have scored a zero then there usually must have been something physically wrong when the inspectors where there,” she said.

“A lot of places will say it was down to paperwork but to warrant a zero it will likely have included something else.

“This could be the way the food is handled, poor cleanliness or a lack of training. We find a lot of places struggle to store food at the right temperatures.”

Louise says when an establishment scores badly, inspectors try to work with the owners and management to help them improve before looking to close them down.

“You often hear calls for these places to be shut down when they score a zero but there are strict criteria which have to be adhered to,” said Louise.

“If they meet them then we will take action but if not then we will work with them to try so they can improve.

“We don’t go out looking to shut places down or give them a low score so we try and help.

“What we would say to any business which uses food is to contact us if they are unsure. We are effectively a free advice service. It is better if a business seeks how to do something properly rather than looking to go off on their own and get caught later.”


  • Lemon Plaice, Highdown Way, St Andrews Ridge
  • North Star Fish Bar, Ferndale Road, Swindon
  • Nova Cafe, Havelock Street, Swindon
  • Penhill Food And Wine, Hannington Close, Penhill, Swindon
  • PGC Chicken & Pizza, Bridge Street, Swindon
  • Rafu’s Indian Takeaway, Cricklade Road, Swindon
  • Raja Food Store, Broad Street, Swindon
  • Rice House, Jennings Street, Rodbourne, Swindon
  • Sultan Mini Market, Eastcott Hill, Swindon
  • The Banquet, Regent Street, Swindon
  • The Khyber Restaurant, Victoria Road, Old Town, Swindon
  • Yeahya - Flavours Of Asia, The Nine Elms, Old Shaw Lane, Swindon
  • YUME Noodle & Sushi Bar, Victoria Road, Old Town, Swindon
  • Zabka Polska Sklep, Manchester Road, Swindon

The scores of all the food establishments in Swindon can be found by visiting