RODENT droppings were found in the food storage room of a Herefordshire restaurant which was rated one out of five in a recent food hygiene report.

An inspector found the droppings on October 24 in a storage room adjacent to the kitchen at the Crown Spice Lounge, an Indian restaurant at the Crown Hotel in Whitchurch, near Ross-on-Wye.

The restaurant was ordered to ensure that the food storage area and kitchen were thoroughly cleaned and maintained. The inspector said that further efforts needed to be made to identify how one or more rodents could have entered the storage area and to monitor whether they return.

The food hygiene report, obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request and dated November 8, said that the restaurant was in the process of engaging a pest control officer.

The report also raised concerns about how raw meat was being stored next to ready-to-eat food like cooked rice, as well as flaking paint and signs of dampness to a wall, and a hole in the floor.

It ordered the business to fix the issues, with some needing “immediate” action and others allowing a month for work to be done.

The Crown Spice Lounge is understood to be working to improve its “one-star” food hygiene rating and was served a schedule of requirements to fix the issues. It has already repaired the hot water in its kitchen, another problem the inspector raised.


The inspector said: “Ensure that raw items are stored separately in the fridge, on a separate shelf. Raw meat should be below ready-to-eat items.

“Rodent droppings were found in the room adjacent to the kitchen at the time of my visit. You must ensure that the food storage and kitchen is cleaned and maintained in a clean condition. Ensure that the external doors in the kitchen are kept closed to prevent rodent access.”

They added: “You could not show that you had a Safer Food Better Business pack for your food safety management system. You must ensure that you have this available for inspection.”

The restaurant was approached for comment before publication.