TWO takeaways have been given the lowest possible hygiene rating by inspectors.

Saffrons in Whitehawk, Brighton, and Saltdean Spice in Saltdean have both received “zero”.

The Indian restaurants in Whitehawk Road and Lustrells Vale are two of three in the city to have the lowest rating.

Council inspectors use three categories when scoring hygiene practices.

They found both restaurant needed major improvement to management of food safety. This refers to whether checks are in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat and whether there is evidence that staff know about food safety.

Inspectors also check whether the food safety officer has confidence standards will be maintained in future.

They also found the restaurants’ hygienic food handling needed improvement.

This includes preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.

Inspectors found the layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control also needed improvement.

The main drive of the city council’s food safety team is public protection and public health.

Leader Nick Wilmot said food hygiene across the city has improved since the team has been in action.

Talking about why making the ratings public was necessary, Mr Wilmot said they were “another tool we use to improve standards within business”.

He said: “Before this it was between us and the business. Now it’s transparent.

“Why shouldn’t everyone know about that – if I was taking kids into a restaurant why shouldn’t I know beforehand whether they have bad hygiene practices?”

Mr Wilmot said if there was any serious risk to the public then the business would be closed down.

The frequency of food safety inspections varies from every six months to three years.

The council decides the frequency of inspection based on the “risk posed by the food business”.

Businesses can appeal and have a “right to reply” to give their view on their food hygiene rating.

Businesses can also request a re-visit and a re-score if they have made the necessary improvements – although re-scoring will incur a cost.

The manager of Saffrons said the venue had already “improved everything” and has invited inspectors back to re-evaluate it.

Saltdean Spice was contacted for comment.

Both were inspected in March and may since have taken steps to make the necessary improvements.