A CURRY shop owner is delighted to have the highest possible hygiene rating after “fixing paperwork”.

Spice Merchant in Montefiore Road, Hove, was told in May by hygiene inspectors that “major improvement” was needed at the restaurant.

Abdul Noor, manager of the Indian takeaway, said by sorting out his paperwork the hygiene rating was upgraded from “one” to “five”.

And he is now calling on the council to improve education to ensure business owners know what to do.

Mr Noor, who runs the business with his brother, said: “We have been in restaurants for a good 20 years so we’re thinking what we’re doing was the right thing.

“But this time, they said I needed these two books – everyone needs to have these two books – but why did no one inform me?

“Most of our customers are our friends, they come in and say, ‘one star, for what?’.

“It was all about paperwork.

“My question is – for people running a business for the first time, how are they supposed to know about all this stuff?

The takeaway, which is popular on online takeaway app Just Eat, was

originally visited on May 7 this year.

It was told it needed to improve hygienic food handling and the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building.

But, inspectors said, “major improvement” in the management of food safety was needed.

This included making sure systems or checks were in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future.

Mr Noor said the takeaway was marked down for not having “Safer Food, Better Business” books – an official log book showing food safety checks have been done and other information – despite having their own diaries.

He said: “I had a visit last year and I was given four stars, he said I needed the book.

“But throughout the year they never told me which book to have.

“Now, I’ve learnt the hard way and I’m sure from now on this place is always going to be five star.”

Following a quick inspection on July 5, the restaurant was given a “five” rating.

This is the highest

possible rating and means hygiene practices are “very good”.

Spice Merchant has been serving curry to Hove residents for three years.

When visited by The Argus, one customer remarked: “it’s the best curry in Brighton”.

A council spokeswoman said it expected people setting up businesses to visit the food hygiene website which has all the information on complying with standards.