An Indian takeaway in Romford has turned around its hygiene rating after previously getting the Food Standards Agency's lowest score.

Cloves Indian, in Mawney Road, was visited by food inspectors on March 28 and was rated four out of five for food hygiene overall.

A previous inspection of the venue, on February 14, had resulted in it being given a zero score which the takeaway claims was due to a “small problem”.

Owner Abul Kashmir told the Recorder that the inspector came to his site on Valentines Day before it opened when the food was still being made by staff.

The inspector, he claimed, questioned about there being no labels with expiry dates and times on the containers. The takeaway’s staff at the time were still preparing the food, Mr Kashmir suggested.

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He said: “All the food is made fresh everyday. There was no issue with the food, but we didn’t have labels that we put later in the evening. Not when the food is still being cooked.

“This man straightaway gave a zero score for something so small. It was not fair."

The inspector revisited the site weeks later when the takeaway had addressed the issue and was given a four out of five hygiene rating this time.

The business, Mr Kashmir said, has been running for several years and has many loyal customers but he claimed the zero rating impacted the takeaway heavily.

“Suddenly we were just getting no orders, nothing at all. So much so we had to fire three staff members”, he added.

Now that the takeaway has bounced back on its hygiene rating, Mr Kashmir said he hopes to get the business back to the scale it was previously.

He added: “It had really affected the morale of our staff. We have been here for many years, we never had any such issues before."

The Food Standards Agency says on its website that inspections are carried out by council officers. 

A Havering Council spokesperson acknowledged in response that the takeaway was not asked to shut after the inspection on February 14.

“The business did not appeal the initial result but did later provide evidence of improvements which allowed officers to revisit the site and recommend a 4-star rating on March 28 2024”, they said.