Published: 17:00, 03 July 2019
| Updated: 14:52, 17 October 2019
A popular Papa John’s has been given the highest possible rating from the Food Standards Agency just months after Environmental Health inspectors discovered the premises infested with rats.
The takeaway pizza place was shut down in February following a routine visit.
A notice pinned to the front of the West Street, Sittingbourne eatery informed customers of a significant risk of food contamination.
But, the outlet reopened for takeaways and deliveries in March with a new owner, Gurpreet Rai, and in less than four months has been turned around.
Following an inspection on June 20, Papa John’s was given a food hygiene rating of five out of five.
Mr Rai, who has previously worked at Papa John’s in Gravesend and Sevenoaks, said: “I am, obviously, pleased.
Everywhere I have worked, that’s been the normal benchmark you want to be hitting.”
When asked how the problems had been rectified in such a short amount of time, he added: “I can’t take all the credit, it’s a credit to my staff.
"They are working as hard as me, if not harder, and it’s down to them the shop is running as well as it is.”
Mr Rai said as well as carrying out a major deep clean, there was also a focus on staff training.
“It’s just having that quality control check and colleagues being told what to do and where to do it.”
“Cleaning is a big part of our regime,” he added. “We are always doing it after we’ve shut and before we open.”
Mr Rai said the focus was now on giving all customers a great service.
“I understand why the old customers would have lost faith in the restaurant, but I want to thank the ones who have returned since and the ones who are willing to give us a try after everything that’s happened,” he said.
Papa John’s is open from 11am to 11pm Sunday to Thursday, and 11am to 1am Friday and Saturday, to order, call 01795 431531.
More by this authorChloe Holmwood