Food hygiene at Longdean School needs ‘major improvements’

Longdean School headteacher Graham Cunningham

Longdean School headteacher Graham Cunningham

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Food hygiene at Longdean School requires ‘major improvements’ after receiving a rating of just one out of five from inspectors.

The school was told to make changes to the way staff monitor if the food it serves is safe to eat.

Inspectors from Dacorum Borough Council found the management of food at Longdean was unacceptable and they found little evidence that staff knew about food safety.

A one out of five rating means the school failed to comply with its legal obligations and more effort was needed to prevent a fall in standards. The hygiene inspection on June 20 highlighted ‘major’ issues with the way its food safety is monitored.

Headteacher Graham Cunningham said: “We were very disappointed that our food hygiene rating dropped from five to one.

“However, this was in relation to inadequate record keeping and systems being in place, and not to do with our food hygiene and cleanliness standards which were rated as satisfactory.

“Within a week of the inspection all the issues raised were addressed and corrected.

“We are due to be re-inspected when we move into new school premises in November when we fully expect to return to a five rating.”

All other schools in Dacorum – apart from Rudolph Steiner School with a rating of ‘satisfactory’ – currently have a hygiene rating of ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

The Food Standards Agency requires schools to have a ‘system or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat’.

It also needs to see ‘evidence that staff know about food safety’ and ‘have confidence that standards will be maintained in future’.

Preparation, cooking and storage of food at Longdean was said to be ‘generally satisfactory’ – as was the cleanliness of the building.

Inspectors are not required to give any notice and have the right to inspect the premises at any reasonable hour.

They check three areas: Food handling, building cleanliness and the management of food safety. These three scores are then added together to rate standards from zero to five.