A restaurant in Derby has been given good news in the form of top marks for its latest hygiene inspection, which could help it to live up to its billing as one of the best in the city.
The Derby Telegraph has told how Zest has received a score of five stars out of five after environmental officials carried out an examination of its premises. It came three months after another inspection saw it handed a mark of just one star.
Zest was given the low score in October last year, just 11 days before it was named as the Restaurant of the Year at the 2012 Derby Food and Drink Awards. Bosses have suggested they feel "fully vindicated" after the latest rating was announced.
Stuart Baddiley, who owns the eatery with his sister Hayley, said: "We had some amazing support from our loyal customers for which we're very thankful and we look forward to remaining at the top of our game, not just for our food and service, but also with the council.
"We're very proud to be part of the throng of successful independent restaurants and retailers in the city."
The owners were adamant that the first score they were given did not truly reflect the state of their premises. Indeed, they launched an appeal to have the restaurant re-inspected after finding they had been marked down for failing to replace their floor, despite being told this was not essential work.
That factor alone is believed to have brought their food hygiene rating "tumbling" and may have caused problems in recent months, in terms of a blow to the venue's reputation.
Ms Baddiley went on to note the saga has served as a reminder that Zest must stay on its toes when it comes to hygiene. The same goes for all restaurants, as a poor score can put customers off eating at a particular establishment and lead to its image being worsened among local people.