A JERICHO deli has been given the lowest possible food hygiene score after staff were accused of forging temperature records.

Branca Food, in Walton Street, scored zero and was voluntarily closed down after an inspection found it posed an ‘imminent risk of injury to health.’

Oxford City council environmental health officers returned the following day and were satisfied the risk had been addressed but found a number of other problems.

Branca Restaurant next door has a four star rating and has been praised by hygiene bosses.

Earlier this year Branca’s owners announced plans to expand into the former chippy Posh Fish and create a deli and cafe.

The inspection report relates to the former chip shop which has been converted to a deli.

It said: “The premises poses an imminent risk of injury to health.

“The reasons for this are lack of hand washing facilities, sinks and hot water resulting in a real risk of food contamination.

“You must therefore not use the above premises for the purpose of a food business until this authority gives you permission to reopen.”

Inspectors returned the following day – August 31 – and were satisfied the imminent risk had been resolved with the installation of a hand washing unit, hot water and soap, giving the deli permission to reopen.

But they found a number of other issues which the management were given until this month to sort out.

The inspectors’ report read: “The cheese chiller was reading about 8C with the cover on – you must ensure this is closely monitored so that it does not go above 8C to minimise bacteria growth.”

“The fridge temperature records between August 27 and August 30 were forged – on my visit on the 30th the records only went up to the 26th.

“The checks and records are there to ensure your equipment is storing food safely and the record acts as part of your due diligence defence if something were to go wrong and you needed to give evidence in court.”

Staff were also ordered to complete a level two food hygiene qualification, which should be refreshed every three years.

Further redevelopment will see a food hall created to link the restaurant and the deli – but each area will have its own space such as a food retail area, the cafe, a bigger bar and also private rooms.

According to the Scores on the Doors website Branca Food still has a zero rating and it will remain that way until a revisit is conducted.

Branca failed to respond to a request for comment.