A HOTEL has picked up a zero hygiene rating - the lowest possible score - following a recent inspection.

The Castle Inn Hotel, in Bassenthwaite, near Keswick, was the subject of a routine inspection by Allerdale Council environmental health officers, leading to the rating, which requires the premises to make “urgent improvement”.

Among the finds by inspectors was out of date food, as well as the standard of cleanliness being “extremely poor”.

The report reads: “The standard of cleanliness to the structure, utensils and work surfaces and hand contact surfaces within the kitchen was extremely poor.

“Food service was postponed during our visit so that cleanliness to high priority areas could be brought back to an acceptable level.”

It went on to say: “A significant number of unfit foods were found on your premises within the cold room/ walk in chiller, including a container of mashed carrot with visible mould to the surface.”

A number of foods past the use-by date had to be thrown away during the inspection.

It was given a score of 20 out of 25 for food hygiene and safety procedures, and for structural and cleanliness requirements. For management and documented procedures it received a score of 20 out of 30. The three scores are then added up - with 50 or higher landing a zero rating.

When approached by the News & Star, The Castle Inn Hotel issued the following statement: “Following a recent dip in our food hygiene score, we have been working very closely with Allerdale Council to rectify the situation. The Castle Inn Hotel has always been committed to offering the highest possible standards of hygiene and service and until this recent dip the hotel has always been held in high regard.

“Since the investigation we have implemented a number of changes of staff, including a new head chef and have also been working with Venners – expert Stocktakers and Compliance Auditors to the Hospitality Industry.

“A number of new procedures have been introduced to ensure the hotel is compliant in all areas of hygiene and this is supplemented by daily and weekly management checks.

“The team at Allerdale Council are very happy with our progress and we look forward to our scores returning to five stars as soon as possible.”