A popular seaside restaurant has been given the worst possible hygiene rating by health bosses – a year after it closed with a rat problem.
The Denton Lounge in Worthing, located at the foot of the pier, has seen its hygiene rating slashed from a top score of five to a lowly one.
The restaurant, which is run by Worthing Theatres and Worthing Borough Council, serves traditional Sunday lunches, afternoon tea and holds pudding nights.
But following a recent inspection by health inspectors from the Food Standards Agency, it was informed of its new rating this week.
In February last year the restaurant closed for two days while pest control officers dealt with rats.
However, a spokeswoman for Worthing Theatres said that the slump in hygiene score was nothing to do with rats.
She said: “The breakdown of the score is that kitchen hygiene and safety has been rated ‘good’ but structural compliance and confidence in management were rated as ‘poor’ and ‘little’ respectively.
“The review took place in February, which was a time when we were finalising our latest phase of decorating and improvement works and also having staffing restructures which have led to a change in management.”
Damian Wilkins, manager of The Denton, said he was disappointed by the outcome of the review and had appealed the rating.
He added: “We requested a visit from our environmental health officer and will be working closely with them to ensure our rating is returned to the previous level of excellence. We have had fantastic feedback from customers since the improvements and look forward to continuing this trend.”