British Airways today said it was “renovating its kitchen facilities” after its first-class lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 was labelled as being among the “bottom 10%” of the country’s food establishments for food hygiene.
The Concorde Room and First Lounge, which offers an exclusive a la carte menu for passengers, received a food hygiene score of 2 out of 5, according to findings published online by the Food Standards Agency.
The Daily Mail reported today that there is now a Freedom of Information request to reveal the full details of the inspection.
A British Airways spokeswoman told the paper that it was working with its contract catering partner BaxterStorey to improve the situation.
“We work with BaxterStorey to provide a high quality service to customers using our lounges, and take all feedback seriously. We continue to invest in our product and are currently renovating our kitchen facilities.”
The most recent food safety inspection is understood to have taken place less than two months ago, but the airline was unable to provide any clear explanation for the poor levels of hygiene that were observed.
The paper also printed a statement from BaxterStorey, which read: “We are very disappointed with the results of the audit by Hillingdon Council of the British Airways First Class and Concorde kitchen. We would like to acknowledge that a score of 2 is not acceptable to us and we apologise to our customers and British Airways for the management failures that contributed to this score.”
The contract caterer added that immediate remedial action had been taken in response to verbal comments give to it on the day of the inspection, and said it continues to monitor its performance rigorously.
“BaxterStorey and British Airways have been working on a plan to renovate the lounge kitchens to ensure we can deliver a product to meet the high standards required by both companies and to cope with increasing demand,” it added.
The kitchen revamp is said to include upgraded storage facilities and new equipment, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of October.
The paper said the airline can take some comfort from the fact that other lounges it runs in Terminal 3 and Terminal 5 scored top marks in food hygiene and safety, albeit they were both assessed prior to BaxterStorey taking over the catering contract at the start of this year.