Marcus Wareing has two Michelin stars, cooked for the queen, and is the star of the Great British Menu. However, three weeks ago, the celebrity chef’s restaurant at the Berkeley scored just one star out of a possible five in a Westminster Council hygiene rating.
Understandably shocked at having lost four stars in just a few years, Wareing immediately set out to correct proceedings. Wareing acknowledged "Food safety, and the health of my team and customers is not something that I would ever knowingly jeopardise."
The main issue in Wareing’s kitchen involved the vacuum packing machine: he only had one for both cooked and raw meats, creating the risk of cross-contamination. Furthermore, raw fish was stored above cooked crab and fruit flies had infested the kitchen. The council recommended that Wareing seek the help of “a qualified pest control technician”.
In a statement responding to the report, Wareing said: "The inspection is something that happened and we put it right immediately. We simply needed a vacuum–packing machine as we only had one. The FSA recommends two. We weren't aware the regulations had changed. It was a technicality and we hold our hands up to it and purchased the new machine within the week.”
Following this statement, Westminster Council revisited the Berkeley. James Armitage, the council’s food safety manager, said of the second visit that “they have complied and we believe they are already well on the way to regaining their five stars.”