Exeter takeaways told to clean up their act

The Food Standard Agency cracks down on Exeter’s food hygiene

Food Standard Agency FSA the tab the tab exeter

Let’s be honest: when it comes to post-night-out nosh, not many of us care about the conditions in which our fast food is prepared. (And those of us that do probably wait for a small bowl of skimmed-milk cereal back home.)

Luckily, though, a governmental organisation – going by the name of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) – has been inspecting, testing and nitpicking practically every single food-selling place across the entire Devon region.

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What would the FSA make of this post-lash scene?

In their latest reports, where health inspectors awarded food outlets between nought and five stars, Exeter’s establishments were generally considered “to have a good or very good standard of cleanliness.”

Within the city centre, however, the FSA assigned two student-popular food retailers – Sidwell Street’s Fish and Chips and Best Kebab, both located a few hundred yards away from Arena nightclub – just one lowly star each.

Sidwell Street's Fish and Chips

Sidwell Street’s Fish and Chips

In response to their low rating, Muhammad Tila, Manager of Sidwell Street’s Fish and Chips, said he felt “deceived.”

“[The FSA representative] came just as we were closing,” he told The Tab“We had been to a cash-and-carry, and we were taking some boxes out to the back.”

Muhammad Tila (left) in Sidwell Street's Fish and Chips

Muhammad Tila (left) in Sidwell Street’s Fish and Chips

“We told him to come back another time, but he said he would just be five minutes. […] We work really hard here. We’ve improved it a lot. They [the FSA] should appreciate what we’re doing.”

At Best Kebab, neighbour to Mega Kebab, Manager Rasim Murad described the FSA as “rude,” saying: “They came in and told us to change this [pointing to a plug socket beside him] and that [indicating the floor].”

Best Kebab, 132A Sidwell Street

Best Kebab, 132A Sidwell Street

“Before [at the time of the inspection in February], we only had one person working in the shop. Now, though, we have four or five, and we keep the place much cleaner.”

Elsewhere on the FSA’s hygiene ratings, one surprise was the single star awarded to Seasons, a health and food shop situated on the student-populated Wells Street.

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Rasim Murad posing for The Tab

When asked about their one-star rating, an employee said: “We just didn’t fill in the right forms. There was one to tick off in the morning and one in the evening, and we just didn’t do it enough.”

“We had a switch for our hot water, too, which [the FSA inspectors] didn’t like. That’s all been sorted now, though.”

Seasons, 8 Well Street

Seasons, 8 Well Street

Out of the 916 food-selling establishments in Exeter, according to Exeter Express & Echo, a total of 628 were rated five; 185 rated four; 63 rated three; 12 rated two; 24 rated one and two rated zero.

Both located around a ten-minute drive outside the city centre, the two zero-rated food outles are Cowley Bridge’s Thai Shanghai restaurant, and, based in the small village of Ide, The Twisted Oak Steakhouse.

A donna kebab from The Golden Horn, another one-star outlet

A doner kebab from The Golden Horn, another one-star food outlet