PIZZA restaurant bosses given a one-star food hygiene rating are set to appeal the decision after refuting the claims from the report.

Dough and Co in Maldon High Street was given the rating following the assessment in December.

All areas were inspected on the day, with the inspector from Maldon District Council making several notes on improvements required.

However, the business has hit back following the report, refuting claims made.

A spokesman said: “The claim regarding our staff's hygiene training is incorrect.

“All staff members have completed level two hygiene training.

“Unfortunately, the documentation was not immediately available during the environmental health officer's unexpected visit.

“We are taking steps to ensure these records are more readily accessible in the future.

 “Secondly, the issue of hot water in our facilities was misrepresented.

“The hot water system is fully operational, and the difficulty experienced by the environmental health officer was due to unfamiliarity with the system rather than a fault on our part.

“We will address this misunderstanding directly with the relevant authorities."

The spokesman also disputed the ravioli being past its use by date. 

They added: “The ravioli in question was delivered by our supplier with a short 'best before' date, not a 'use by' date.

“This is a significant distinction, as the former refers to quality, whereas the latter pertains to safety.”

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Site - Dough and Co in Maldon High StreetSite - Dough and Co in Maldon High Street (Image: Google)

The owners also refuted the comments about seeing if the goat’s cheese was pasteurised.

They said: “We serve both pasteurised and unpasteurised cheeses, complying with all relevant food safety regulations.

“The cheese served is of the highest quality and is entirely safe for consumption.”

Notes were also made on the restaurant needing to thoroughly clean its ventilation canopy, as well as cleaning below and behind kitchen equipment, fixtures and fittings.

“The canopy is cleaned professionally every six months, in line with industry standards,” the spokesman said.

“Our kitchen practices and maintenance schedules adhere strictly to the necessary regulations to ensure a safe and hygienic environment.

 “Lastly, we must emphasise our kitchen is an open-plan design, allowing patrons to observe the food preparation process and the cleanliness of our facilities firsthand."

“We will be requesting a revaluation of our premises by the local authorities,” the spokesman concluded.