HUGE improvements have been made to food hygiene standards in the district’s restaurants, takeaways and shops – with the number receiving the worst rating slashed from 18 last year to just five in the latest round of inspections.

In August 2015, 18 premises were handed a zero rating, signalling that urgent improvements were needed, after visits from council inspectors.

This year, that number has dropped by more than two thirds to just five, and there was a significant turn-around for one establishment which scored zero last year and now has a top rating of five stars.

“It is a huge improvement and great news for the consumer,” said Councillor David Ward (Lib Dem, Bolton and Undercliffe), who has been a prominent campaigner in trying to make it compulsory for all businesses to clearly display a ‘scores on the doors’ sticker showing their rating.

“People will have more confidence in food outlets knowing the ratings have improved so much.”

Councillor Val Slater, Bradford Council’s executive member for health and wellbeing, said: “We work with businesses to advise and support them on good food hygiene practice.

“This includes undertaking revisits to the poor premises to ensure they are brought up to standard.

“Businesses also use the right to request a revisit to re-rate under the food hygiene rating scheme to improve their rating once the premises is brought up to standard.”

Councillor Simon Cooke (Con, Bingley Rural), leader of the Conservative group, added: “It is always good to see the standards of our food industry in Bradford improving.

“People want to feel confident when they go out to eat or order a takeaway.”

This year’s success story is Berries Bagels & Shakes, in Leeds Road, which turned around a zero rating.

Owner Zubair Hussain said: “I was really disappointed with our rating last year but my manager, Lienna Kreicberga, took it on board and turned it round in just three months.

“There was nothing wrong with our food.

“It was things like not doing the paperwork as expected and not putting things on pallets.

“I was new to the food business and really didn’t think these were serious things but it matters when you want a good rating.

“Now we have a five rating and so has our new business in Great Horton Road.

“We also received the Good Food Bradford gold award.”

The five businesses that scored zero this year are: Afghani Cuisine, in Leeds Road, Bradford; Diner 900, in Leeds Road, Bradford; Chan’s Kitchen, in Main Street, Bingley; Holroyd House Hotel, in Wibsey and Peking Duck, in Leeds Road, Liversedge.

Peter Kearns, who runs Holroyd House Hotel, said it was because of current building work that they had scored so badly.

“We are converting part of the hotel into houses and had taken the sink out of the kitchen. I hold my hands up because I didn’t think it was necessary to reconnect it. It’s back in now and we hope to be back to a five rating at the next inspection,” he said.

Ken Fan, owner of Peking Duck, in Liversedge, said he had had similar problems.

“It is an old building and there were problems with the maintenance. It was only structural problems and nothing to do with our food. This all happened last year and we have been working with Environmental Health to solve the problems,” he said.

Diner 900’s owner Naz Mohammed said he had already addressed the issues that gave his establishment a zero rating.

He explained: “The problem was not at all to do with our food, that is all fine.

“The problem was that I didn’t have anyone with food hygiene certificates.

“That is all sorted now and they all have the qualification.”

Najib Honaryar, owner of Afghani Cuisine, said: “We hope to see an improvement on our next inspection.

“We were given a zero rating for not having staff with food hygiene certificates as well as the hot water boiler not being adequate.

“This is now replaced and staff are taking their qualifications.”

A spokesman for Chan’s Kitchen said: “The inspector is coming back in two weeks and we expect a good report.

“We have done what they asked.”

Also improving on last year’s disappointing marks were Fliirt in the Kirkgate Centre, New Abaseen in Leeds Road, Bradford, One and 1 in Leeds Road, Shipley, and The Old Bank in Market Street, Bradford which all scored four ‘good’ ratings.

Dil Passand, in Duckworth Lane, Bradford, Golden Bamboo in Church Street, Rastrick, Curry Chef in Highfield Road, Rastrick, Rice Restaurant in High Street, Yeadon, Bishmallah in Lidget Hill, Pudsey, and Shelf Balti House in Carr House Road, Shelf, all scored three ratings.

Shelf Balti House in Carr House Road, Shelf, now has a two rating.

Meanwhile, Awami Foods in Smiddles Lane, Bradford, has a one rating.

No updated rating information could be found on the other five businesses that scored zero last year.

They were Harry’s Carvery in Whitehall Road, Wyke, Regal Catering in Whetley Hill, Bradford, Hookahs in Hey Street, Bradford, Krispy Kod in Great Horton Road, Bradford, and Amaan Foods in Leeds Old Road, Bradford.