A historic hotel in the Larne area has picked up a zero rating in its latest food hygiene inspection.
Ballygally Castle Hotel on the picturesque Coast Road received the lowest possible score following an inspection last month.
The ratings, compiled by local authorities in partnership with the Food Standards Agency, are designed to enable consumers to make informed choices when eating out in restaurants, pubs, cafes, takeaways, hotels, and other outlets.
Each business is given a rating from zero to five when it is inspected by a food safety officer, based on how the food is handled, the condition and cleanliness of the premises and the management of the business, which includes good record keeping. In a summary of its findings at Ballygally Castle, council officers stated that hygienic handling of food needed an “urgent improvement” while management of food safety, including systematic checks, required “major improvement”. The cleanliness and condition of the facilities was described by inspectors as “generally satisfactory.” A spokesperson for the local authority said: “The council has been supporting the business to improve standards and to get the necessary proof in respect of improved management systems that would enable a better score to be awarded going forward.” The hotel has said that it has asked for an “immediate re-inspection” of its facilities and will display any new rating on its premises.