Sporting bright yellow and blue paint and a tongue-in-cheek name, The Fawlty Towers hotel in Great Yarmouth is a short walk from the seafront.
But when local council Environmental Health Officers visited the site, they found iit needed to improve with the cleanliness and state of the facilities. This included having ‘appropriate layout, ventilation, handwashing facilities and pest control’ to allow for good food hygiene’.
On Trip Advisor, guests who have visited the hotel, named after John Cleese’s iconic 1970s BBC sitcom, were scathing about their experiences.
The sitcom, which aired from 1975 to 1979, is likely to return to the small screen after the former Monty Python star announced he was writing new episodes with his daughter, Camilla, 39.
As of March 8, there were 189 hotels in England and Wales listed by the Food Standards Agency with the lowest three ratings, Improvement Needed, Major Improvement Needed and the most serious zero rating, Urgent Improvement Needed.
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The Fawlty Towers hotel in Great Yarmouth is among 189 hotels in England requiring improvements
Among those requiring Urgently Needed Improvements was the Mandeville Hotel in Westminster. Food inspectors visited the facility on August 25, 2022.
Westminster City Council inspectors found that the hotel needed major improvements in hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of the premises and building, and food safety management.
It costs around £240 a night to stay at the Mandeville Hotel, which is just off Wigmore Street and a short walk from Oxford Street.
Overlooking Hyde Park is the Baglioni Hotel, offering 5* luxury Italian accommodation in the heart of London for £500 a night.
When inspectors from Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council visited the hotel on 3 January, they found that hygienic handling of food and cleanliness of the premises and building needed to be improved.
The Baglioni Hotel overlooking Hyde Park was found to be in need of an immediate upgrade
L’Ocar in Bloomsbury was visited by environmental health officials in November 2022 who found it needed to improve its standards
The ratings on the Food Standards Agency website only refer to the safe handling, storage and preparation of food. They do not consider areas such as value for money or taste.
In Bloomsbury, the L’Oscar Hotel was visited by inspectors from the London Borough of Camden on 12 November 2022, where they gave the £420-a-night hotel a rating of 1.
Inspectors praised the hotel’s cleanliness but found problems with food handling and storage. they also said big improvement was needed in the management of food safety.
The Food Standards Agency was established in 2000 following a series of high-profile food poisoning outbreaks.
The body is independent of government and protects consumers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from dangerous and unsafe food products.
The FSA also protects the consumer from food crime.
In 2013, the National Food Crime Unit, which is part of the FSA, uncovered the horse meat scandal in which investigators discovered a substantial amount of horse DNA in labeled beef.
Most recently, the NFCU discovered a major retailer mislabeling South American meat as UK product.
Companies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are scored out of five and companies must have a score of at least three to pass the meeting. In January, a report from the Food Standards Agency found that one in five takeaway meals in the UK failed basic cleanliness and food handling checks.
In Scotland there is a different grading system where companies either pass or need to improve.
An FSA spokesperson said: “The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) gives people information about hygiene standards in food businesses, and they can use the rating to help decide where to eat or buy food.”
The Mandeville Hotel in London was also found to be in breach of food standards regulations.
‘The ratings are a snapshot of the food hygiene standards found at the time of inspection by local authority food safety officers.
‘The scheme awards business ratings from 5 (very good) to 0 (urgent improvement required). The ratings can be found online and on the green and black stickers that are displayed in stores.’
The spokesperson added: “The FSA’s advice to people when choosing where to shop, eat out or order in is to check that the business has a food hygiene rating and choose only those with a higher rating.”
Businesses that are prosecuted for breaching food safety regulations face a maximum fine of £5,000 if found guilty in Magistrates Court. However, this limit was removed in 2015, leading to Tesco being hit with a record £7.56m fine in April 2021, when the supermarket giant admitted to 22 charges of selling out-of-date food.
The hotels mentioned in the article have been approached by MailOnline for comment.