Health visit forces Country Squire to close
The Country Squire in Somerset has closed for renovations after a preliminary visit from a health inspector.
Owner Donald Hassell said he voluntarily shut his doors to tackle upgrades he was not able to get around to last year because of the America's Cup.
He said: “The way health inspectors work is they come to check you out first and tell you what they think you need to look at — a preliminary check.
“They came by and we mutually agreed that this needed to be done. She brought a lot of things to my attention that were on the back burner, so I said ‘let's close down for a week and get it all done'.
“When she comes back next time, everything will be perfect.”
He added: “It was pre-emptive — they give you a list of what they want done so that you can pass your health inspection.”
Mr Hassell said it was the first time in 32 years that he had closed for renovations.
“Last year, we had the America's Cup and we had no time for it, and we're getting to jobs that we didn't get to.
“Some things you have to close the restaurant to do, if it's kitchen-orientated or storeroom-orientated or bar-orientated.”
Mr Hassell added that the restaurant and bar in Sandys was expected to be open again by the weekend.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said annual health inspections are on track to be completed by March 31, with about 80 per cent of the island already inspected.
She explained: “The ‘grades on licences' scheme was set up to give the public access to food establishments' grades and encourage transparency and accountability to help, protect and serve the public.
“The public should be aware that an establishment may choose to close temporarily on a voluntarily basis in order to carry out recommendations from inspectors.”
She added: “The Department of Health is in the process of conducting its annual inspections.
“In the course of these routine annual inspection, matters of concern have to be addressed by the establishments in order to secure their licence and receive a grade.
“All reports are compiled at the end of the inspection period and shared with the public under the ‘grades on licences' scheme.”