THE restaurants, cafes and canteens with the poorest hygiene ratings in the borough have been revealed.

Oldswinford based The Retreat bar and bistro is the only eaterie in the borough with a zero rating, latest figures from the Food Standards Agency show.

While 13 other venues across Dudley have been given a food hygiene rating of just 1 out of 5, according to the FSA’s website.

They are: Ali Café in Dudley, Amblecote Christian Centre’s café, Bengal Palace in Wollaston, Blakey’s Eastern Promise in Lye, Caffe del Mondo at Brierley Hill’s Health and Social Care Centre, Chinna Balti takeaway and restaurant in Cradley, David’s Deli in Stourbridge, Dessert Corner in Lye, The Coast Afro Cuisine in Dudley, Top Snax in Lye and Zingaz Contemporary Dining in Kingswinford and The Gourmet Bus at intu Merry Hill - which reportedly left the site in early January.

Stourbridge’s Café Rimski also had a rating of 1 but the coffee shop ceased trading at the end of January.

Councillor Gaye Partridge, Dudley Council's cabinet member responsible for environmental health, said the authority inspects more than 1,000 food premises each year to score their food and hygiene standards in line with national guidelines and she added "Most businesses will display their ratings and information on all ratings is easy to find online.

"We always recommend people check out where they are planning to eat beforehand so they can make an informed choice.

“When premises have a score as low as 0 or 1, there is obviously cause for concern and follow up visits are made to ensure action has been taken to rectify issues. Failure to improve standards will result in prosecution."

In the case of The Retreat, which received a zero rating after an inspection last July, food hygiene inspectors have called for a raft of urgent improvements to be made.

In their rating of the premises they said improvements were needed regarding the preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage of food to meet the requirements for the hygienic handling of food.

And they said major improvements were needed to meet the criteria on cleanliness and the condition of the facilities and building - including having an appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control.

Major improvements were also called for to create systems and checks to ensure food sold or served is safe to eat, to provide evidence that staff know about food safety, and to give food safety officers confidence that standards will be maintained in future.

A council spokesman said officers undertook a follow up visit in August and improvements had been made but the hygiene rating will not be changed until the next full inspection which is expected to take place in the summer.

Wayne Colbourne, manager at the Hagley Road tapas restaurant, said the poor rating had resulted from paperwork issues.

He told the News: "It’s all paperwork, that’s what they had me on. It’s just getting more and more.

"It’s nothing to do with anything else. I'm waiting for them to come back."

He added: "If I get a rating like that again I’m going to board the place up which will put eight people out of a job.

"It’s taken us a long time to build this place up."

To check the rating of your favourite restaurant or cafe go to