A NEWS agent has been knocked down to a two-star food hygiene rating after its fridge was found to be 16 degrees.

Acorn News on 49 St Nicholas Road in Oxford, went from a four-star food hygiene rating to just two after an unannounced inspection from Oxford City Council. However, the shop owner has said the hot weather was to blame.

The shop was inspected on July 21 and was told that improvement was necessary.

Acorn News was given a rating of 'poor' for the category food hygiene and safety, 'good' for structural compliance and 'some' for confidence in management.

On inspection it was found that a fridge containing food and drinks was 16 degrees according to the shop’s thermometers.

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The inspector from Oxford City Council wrote in the full hygiene report this meant the food was not 'fit for human consumption'. The report said: "This was only highlighted by me and had not been noted on your opening checks. Although you did remove the food immediately you had previously had on display for sale food which may not be fit for human consumption."

The shop was warned that food should be kept within the correct temperature storage conditions at all times.

Oxford Mail: Acorn News Thermometer. Food hygiene report picture.

The inspector was also concerned after finding that there were tongs in the open sweets display.

The inspector commented: "The problem with this is that once somebody has touched the tong in can contaminate the sweets when placed within them."

The shop owner has been advised to keep the tongs in a separate area to avoid contamination.

On inspection, the shop was also found to have a dirty sink in the rear area and owners have now been told to make sure it is kept clean. However, shop owners explained that this sink is not for public use.

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Shop director Tarenjeet Ksurama feels it was unfair she was given a two-star rating. Mrs Ksurama explained on the day the shop was inspected it was 'boiling hot' and it had been closed the previous day because it was Eid and had not noticed the fridge was not working properly.

She said: "First thing in the morning when we came in, just as we always do, we were about to check the fridge and record the temperatures. As soon as we entered, we started doing the paperwork when the inspector arrived. We have never had a problem before; it was just that day and he gave us two stars. He came back after a couple of weeks and now everything is normal."

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