A FRESHWATER take-out pizza owner says he feels belittled and discouraged after an inspector rated the business with a one-star food safety rating.
Fuoco Pizza, on Avenue Road, received the notice from Isle of Wight Council, which said the business had problems with food temperature control, damaged sink, toilet and towel dispenser in paper and missing documents.
See the video and comments from the owners below
The one star rating means that major improvements are needed at the pizzeria.
It follows an inspection in February.
Environmental health inspectors said no checks had been carried out to confirm whether dishes – including raw chicken – were cooked to a safe temperature.
Inspectors said Fuoco Pizza staff used an infrared thermometer (or infrared gun) to check the temperature, which only applies to the outer surface of the food and not the inside.
Failing to check the temperature properly could allow food poisoning bacteria to survive.
Fuoco Pizza owner Joe Melody said the pizza oven, called gozney, cooks pizzas at 400-500 degrees and there is no doubt that the food is cooked at a safe temperature.
He added that the correct temperature probe has been purchased and is being used.
The inspection report stated that the kitchen toilet was leaking from the main drain pipe on the floor.
Inspectors said this could lead to contamination of food with foreign bodies.
Joe told the County Press that repairs to the toilets were already due to take place within days of the inspection.
The report says the sink was also leaking onto the floor and there was a lack of hygienic hand drying facilities in the sink.
The sink was fixed the same day as the toilet, Joe said.
Inspectors also reported that the sink faucet was loose and difficult to operate effectively, and that the paper towel dispenser was broken – the faucet and paper towel dispenser have since been repaired.
The council asked Fuoco Pizza to create an allergen matrix detailing common menu ingredients.
Inspectors noted in the report that allergen information may be offered verbally to customers.
There is a £205 fee to request a re-inspection, a price Joe refuses to pay.
Joe said: “This report seems disparaging and disheartening, we have put a lot of work into it.
“Before owning my own place, I would have turned down a one-star rating, but now I know what a star looks like.
“We were given two weeks to make the changes, but nobody came back to check. I’m frustrated with the lack of consistency.
“There was no clarification. It was not helpful.
Joe says all the issues were ongoing at the time of the inspection and the inspector was made aware of them.
“If people want peace of mind, I invite everyone to come and search for themselves!”
Fuoco Pizza is open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday to Saturday.