STAFF at a Welshpool Care Home that was given a zero food hygiene rating by the Food Standards Agency, say they have already solved the problems.

In October, an environmental health team from Powys County Council inspected The Rhallt Care Home, which is run by Barchester Healthcare.

Problems found there by inspectors included: unhygienic handling of food, including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage which required major improvement.

Concerns were reported about raw food preparation and storage.

Following the visit, The Rhallt’s kitchen closed down temporarily as the staff carried out drastic action.

The company was forced to bring caterers in to feed the residents at the 82-bed care home.

The report said that kitchen cleanliness was very poor, items of equipment were dirty and a thorough deep clean was needed.

Roger Fitzgerald, The Rhallt manager, says that he and his staff took the report as an opportunity to set everything to rights.

He expects “at least” a four rating at the home’s next inspection.

Mr Fitzgerald said: “A lot of the problems were about a lack of education and we took this as an opportunity to re-vamp the kitchen.

“In a way it was a good excuse to sort everything out.

“We have had an informal inspection and we would have received the equivalent of four stars.

“We have a new chef in place and have applied for another formal inspection.

“We don’t know when that will take place, but we do look forward to receiving a far better rating and be able to put this behind us.”

James Thomas, a divisional chef with Barchester, was brought in to sort out the problems.

He told The County Times: “Everything is compliant now, it was turned around within a week and we have cured all practical problems.”

The rating system came in to force in 2013.

Food businesses are given a rating following a routine food hygiene inspection.

The rating shows how well a business is complying with food hygiene law at the time of the inspection.

Food businesses are rated on a scale.

At the bottom of the scale is ‘0’ – this means that urgent improvement is necessary.

At the top of the scale is ‘5’ – this means that the hygiene standards are very good.

A spokesman for Powys County Council which does the inspections on behalf of the Food Standards Agency confirmed that The Rhallt have requested another inspection.