A YOUTH hostel in the centre of Oxford has been criticised by health inspectors for keeping no record of food safety checks for more than two years.

Oxford Backpackers, based on Hythe Bridge Street, was given a one-star rating following a surprise visit by Oxford City Council's health team on March 2.

This is the second lowest score possible and means 'major improvement necessary'.

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A report detailing the reasons for the low rating said: "Daily checks must be undertaken and recorded. These checks use to be available but no longer exist.

"Reintroduce daily check sheets. These confirm dates of food have been checked and fridge/freezer temperatures checked."

The document added there had been 'no way' of checking that the fridges and freezer were running at the correct temperatures and that the business must ensure it had a method of checking this.

Oxford Backpackers was also told to 'replace or repair' a large chest freezer.

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It said the above concerns were previously highlighted during an inspection on February 13, 2017 - during which the hostel was given a two-star rating.

The hostel's highest rating was in March 2015 when it was given four stars.

Despite the major concerns over a lack of checks, the standard of food hygiene and safety – one of three categories used to make up the overall score – was judged to be 'very good' when inspectors visited.

The cleanliness of the building, another category, was also found to be 'good'.

What caused the poor rating was confidence in management, which was judged as 'major improvement necessary' due to the lack of legally-required checks.

More of the latest food hygiene ratings from across Oxfordshire

The hostel was contacted for comment but did not respond before the paper went to print.

Run by Funky Hostel Ltd, the company's website states: “Oxford Backpackers Hostel is the first and biggest independent hostel in Oxford.

“With the completion of our new renovations we are also the smartest and cleanest!”

It goes on to say: "Funky Hostels has years of experience in providing you the best possible experience when staying with us

"Once you have experienced the welcoming environment of a Funky Hostel you will definitely want to come visit us again."

Offering a free continental breakfast for guests, it also has a self-catering kitchen with two ovens, eight cooking plates and microwave.

The hostel also has a fully licensed bar which is open four nights a week - Wednesday to Saturday.