Swindon Borough Council has made a decision on whether to prosecute three town businesses previously rated zero for their hygiene.

Between June and October 2023, three separate companies were handed the lowest possible hygiene scores by the council’s Environmental Health team.

Chip shop Mr Cod on Cricklade Road was given a zero rating on June 23, 2023, before retaining the score after a second inspection on August 30 last year.

Supermarket Asda at the Orbital Shopping Park was then also handed the same score on October 10, 2023, with “major improvement” deemed necessary.

Swindon Advertiser: Mr Cod was twice rated zero for its hygiene.Mr Cod was twice rated zero for its hygiene. (Image: Newsquest)

Then just a day later, Caterlink, which provides the food for Gorse Hill Primary School on Avening Road, was also hit with a zero rating.

The facilities which serve around 400 pupils daily were adjudged to require immediate and urgent improvement in a damning report.

All have since been reinspected and issued with higher ratings.

With so many zero ratings issued in a relatively short time, the Adver asked SBC whether prosecution investigations were underway.

An SBC spokesperson said: “We take food hygiene very seriously. The ratings system provides important information for customers but also helps to improve food hygiene standards.

“We carry out unannounced inspections and, if problems are uncovered, we will then work with the businesses to help them reach the required standards.

Swindon Advertiser: Asda in North Swindon had been rated zero-out-of-five for hygiene.Asda in North Swindon had been rated zero-out-of-five for hygiene. (Image: Dave Cox)

“We will provide a list of improvements and will follow this up with another inspection.

“If things do not get better, Environmental Health will issue an enforcement notice and offer to work with the management.

“If things still do not improve we have no choice but to prosecute.

“These three businesses have all worked with our officers to significantly improve standards, which is reflected in the new ratings they have been given.

“As a result, we are not carrying out investigations with a view to pursuing prosecutions at this time.

“However, the onus is on all businesses to maintain standards so we do not have to take formal action in the future as all previous inspections are kept on file should they be required.”

Swindon Advertiser: The catering at Gorse Hill Primary School was also rated zero for hygiene.The catering at Gorse Hill Primary School was also rated zero for hygiene. (Image: Dave Cox)

All three businesses have since bolstered their hygiene ratings after the council’s most recent inspections found signs of improvement.

Mr Cod rose to a four-out-of-five score on December 13, 2023, with inspectors labelling the facilities as “very good”.

Asda’s North Swindon superstore was upgraded to a three-out-of-five on November 20, 2023, with the report deeming the supermarket as “generally satisfactory”.

Caterlink at Gorse Hill Primary School improved its rating the most to a five-out-of-five on December 11, 2023, with inspectors stating the practices to now be “very good”.