A pizza place in Swindon that received two zero out of five food hygiene ratings in a row has bounced back with a much-improved new mark.

Sam Chopra took charge of Pizzacroft on Meadowcroft in Stratton St Margaret in April 2023 and aimed to address the issues which had led to Swindon Borough Council's food hygiene team giving the previous owner the lowest possible grade.

However, after requesting a new inspection several times over the following year to learn more specific details about the improvements required, Sam was dismayed to see inspectors turn up announced on March 25, point out the takeaway's failings, and give it another zero rating.

In the weeks since then, the takeaway's manager has made several changes to the site and hoped that a return visit would boost his rating to a more acceptable level.

At the time of the March inspection, there were no notices about allergens on display, he was the only employee with Level 2 food hygiene training, and hot water was temporarily unavailable because it was supplied from another part of the building.

A newly-installed boiler now ensures that a constant independent supply of hot water is available, three employees have completed food hygiene training courses, allergen notices are clearly visible, and a company with Peninsula has been contracted to help manage on-site health and safety standards.

Food hygiene inspectors returned on Friday, May 24, and found far less to criticise about how Mr Chopra is running the business.

The new rating, published on the Food Standards Agency website this week, stands at four out of five, which is considered Good overall.

Sam is pleased to see his efforts rewarded and aims to continue making improvements until the takeaway gets the full five out of five.

He claims it is the first time that Pizzacroft has ever received a good rating under any management.

He told the Adver: "The inspectors were really happy to see this massive difference in the standards and that all regulations were in place and being followed.

"I won't be complacent, they'll be back in six months and I'll aim to get top marks then.

"I hope this rating will bring the confidence back in my customers and my local community.

"It'll take time to make up for all the business I've lost, but some loyal customers have stayed with me.

"My pizza is good, it's all freshly made and handcrafted, and people really like it."