Banbury pub vows to get top hygiene rating back after ‘harsh’ inspection

A Banbury pub owner has vowed to get back to the top hygiene rating after a ‘harsh’ inspector gave them the lowest possible score.

The Old Auctioneer was downgraded to a zero out of five by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) after an inspection on November 30.

Director Andy Leening was disappointed when the report was published earlier this month, having been rated five out of five for the past five years, but feels the inspector was ‘over the top’.

“It’s a 500-year-old building and there were things the inspector picked up on that previous inspectors have not, but we’re having a big refurbishment and I’m hoping we’ll get a revisit afterwards so we can get back to five stars,” he said.

“Why we got a zero is beyond me, when the inspector left he said, ‘you might get a three,’ but we got a zero. We were as open as possible but he was very over the top.”

The FSA said major improvements were necessary with the ‘cleanliness and condition’ and the management of food safety at the Parsons Street pub, and changes were also needed in ‘hygienic food handling’.

The Old Auctioneer NNL-160706-160607009

The Old Auctioneer NNL-160706-160607009

Adding to the unpleasantness for The Old Auctioneer team has been the ‘relentless’ abuse the pub has received online since the score was made public.

Mr Leening described it as ‘being mauled’ and said he gave up trying to ‘battle’ with negative comments, but the pub thanked those who had sent messages of support in a Facebook post.

It reads: “We are extremely confident, and passionate about serving excellent quality food, and are certain we will shortly be able to display our new rating with pride.”