AN INDIAN restaurant which claims to be Abingdon’s ‘most luxurious’ has been criticised after food hygiene inspectors found issues with food preparation, the risk of rodents, and cleanliness.

Spice Valley received a one-star rating, the second lowest possible score and which means ‘major improvement necessary’, after inspectors from Vale of White Horse District Council visited the Ock Street business last year.

ALSO READ: 'Best restaurant in Oxford' promises to improve after cancellations over hygiene score

Concerns were raised during the October inspection over potential contamination from mixing raw and cooked food.

Inspectors also warned that leaving meat out on a plate by the back door for a local cat would attract rats and mice.

NEW HYGIENE LISTINGS - read the latest lowdown on eateries near you 


The inspector’s report stated: “You are not implementing suitable procedures to prevent contamination.

"You must improve your systems to ensure ready to eat food is not put at risk of contamination.

"Ideally you should follow the food standards agency guide for e.coli, this includes use of separate equipment, containers and locations of raw and ready to eat food preparation and storage.

“Issues noted include use of a yellow board for chopping vegetables and raw prawns, no suitable disinfection of surface after raw chicken and raw prawns stores next to washed ready to eat salad leaves.”

READ AGAIN: Almost 700 Oxford eateries given warning over poor hygiene last year

It added: “Hands were not being suitably washed. After handling raw prawns I had to prompt the chef to wash his hands he then did not use any soap or dry them appropriately.”

A Vale spokesman said the health team have since revisited Spice Valley to 'check they are taking steps to comply with the issues raised’ at the original inspection and were ‘pleased to note’ they were making ‘good progress’ to improve compliance.

He added, however, the business had not submitted a request for a rescore under the rating scheme and so would continue to have a one-star score.

ALSO READ: Restaurant closed down over rats speaks out over 'first incident in 18 years'

Issues over cleanliness were also raised during the visit, with the report stating: “You are putting out cooked meat on a dish for the local cat next to the open back door of the kitchen, this will attract cats but also rats, mice and other pests.”

It went on to add: “It was noted that there were a number of flies present in the food preparation areas. You must take suitable precautions to prevent entry of flies, this can be achieved by ensuring doors and windows are closed and installing fly screens.”

The restaurant’s website claims Spice Valley, opened in 1998, is ‘Abingdon’s most luxurious restaurant’ with a ‘fantastic setting for the most discerning diner’.

It adds: “If you are fond of great Bangladeshi and Indian cuisine with superb service and a great atmosphere then come along and see what we have on offer for you.”

The restaurant was contacted but did not respond.