A FAMILY-RUN Bodmin business is celebrating after being awarded a three out of five hygiene rating.

Celtic Produce, a fruit and veg wholesaler based on Beacon Road, recently found itself on a collision course with an inspector over a disputed inspection.

The new rating means that hygiene ratings at the shop are ‘generally satisfactory’.

The business owner, David Frost, who has operated from the town for 38 years, said that he viewed the inspection as vexatious, and disputed a number of points raised by an inspector.

The business had been given a zero rating after some issues were highlighted that were, in the view of Mr Frost, minor. This included having a hand-wash sink eight metres away from the counter and displaying fruit past its best before date inside the store, despite being marked as discounted as a result and the assessor allegedly disagreeing with Mr Frost over the use of such fruit for jams and preserves. While the inspector claimed the fruit was ‘mouldy’, the business said the issue related to over-ripe plums.

Mr Frost added at the time of confirming compliance with the points raised that in his view, he felt the assessment was designed to work against the traditional farm shop and that while he admitted there were some minor issues, the assessment process didn’t work with businesses but against them, and in his instance, it was a business that had not had any customer complaints.

He said at the time: “We were shocked by how we were treated by the inspector, and customers who were in the store when the inspection took place asked about why the inspector was being, as they saw it ‘aggressive’ or ‘horrible’.

“It’s inevitable that in a traditional farm shop business such as ours, based in a farm building that is around 60 years old, we’re never likely to get five-stars but to get a zero was harsh in our view.

“We have taken on board what was said, but the truth is that things were raised this year that hadn’t been in 38 years of trading, so it’s not as if we deliberately didn’t do things.”

However, now the business is celebrating after a re-assessment awarded them three out of five, something that they say has come out of hard effort and a determination to deliver for their customers.

This included addressing the issue of a hand-wash basin being eight metres away from the counter, alleviated by changing the layout of the store and using official paperwork instead of their own cleaning recording system.

A spokesperson for Celtic Produce said: “After our initial inspection highlighted some issues that needed remedying. We’re delighted that in working with the Environmental health team, we’re now back up to a satisfactory standard. In our reinspection we got a three out of five rating. We look forward to working with them going forward to continually improve the way we work.

“We are delighted to continue to deliver for our customers and the wider community and have genuinely appreciated the support and loyalty they continue to give us during what has been a challenging time. While reports elsewhere have not represented the full story, as we see it, particularly with points raised in the previous inspection, we have worked hard to address anything where we can and this shows in our new rating.”