The owner of a Swindon fish shop has blamed a poor hygiene rating on his staff being too busy to clean.

Fisherman Place on Havelock Street in the town centre has been open for just over a year and sells a variety of fish from around the world including Sri Lanka and India.

Despite often being busy and popular with locals, the business was awarded a one-out-of-five hygiene rating after an inspection on Monday, November 13.

Swindon Borough Council’s Environmental Health team found the shop to be in need of major improvement during their visit.

Inspectors deemed “major improvement necessary” regarding the business’ management of food safety.

Swindon Advertiser: The produce served at the shop in Swindon town centre.The produce served at the shop in Swindon town centre. (Image: Fisherman Place)

This refers to having a system in place to ensure that food sold is safe to eat as well as if there is evidence that staff know about food safety.

The shop’s owner, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested several reasons for the poor score when speaking to the Adver.

“To be honest I haven’t read the report so I will have to actually,” he said.

“Our shop gets very busy and we cut and clean the fish so when it gets really busy we don’t have chance to clean the premises until the end of the day.

“Fish parts will be on the floor and the walls throughout the day and I believe that it was the reason for the hygiene.

“We are understaffed and if we had someone else they could do the cleaning.

“Being a fresh fish business, there is a lot of wastage and a lot of smells.”

Swindon Advertiser: Fisherman Place is currently located on Havelock Street.Fisherman Place is currently located on Havelock Street. (Image: Dave Cox)

The report stated that “improvement [was] necessary” regarding the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building.

This includes having an appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control to enable good food hygiene.

Fisherman Place’s hygienic handling of food, which includes preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage, was adjudged to be generally satisfactory by inspectors.

The owner, who lives in Surrey, also owns a shop in West London which holds a four-out-of-five score and has vowed to get the Swindon branch back on track.

“I don’t know why there’s huge a discrepancy between the two,” he said.

“I am very disappointed and I am going to try my best to improve it to a five if I can and I will do everything in my power to do so.”

The store currently has a "for sale" sign outside the shopfront but the owner did not wish to comment on the shop's future.