Almas Indian Brasserie Sheffield: Popular Indian restaurant in Dore handed 1-star food hygiene rating

Untrained staff at the highly-rated restaurant were found to be checking if food was cooked by ‘tasting’ it.
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During a routine inspection, Almas, in Dore, was handed a food hygiene rating of 1 - meaning ‘major improvement’ was necessary.

The Indian restaurant, on Dore’s High Street, was found it needed ‘major improvement’ in how it managed and documented food safety, and further improvement was also necessary for its food hygiene and safety. The condition of the structure was found to be ‘generally satisfactory’.

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Following a request under the Freedom of Information Act, The Star can now reveal the full details of the inspection.

On the day of inspection (July 18, 2023), the establishment was handed a low score for "confidence in management" by the health inspector who visited.

A written food safety management system, known as Safer Food Better Business (SFBB), was not being used when the head chef was not on duty. Certain ‘safe methods’ were also not being implemented, including the cleaning, cooling, maintenance and pest control safe methods.

Almas, in Dore, has been handed a food hygiene rating of 1 following its most recent inspection. Almas, in Dore, has been handed a food hygiene rating of 1 following its most recent inspection.
Almas, in Dore, has been handed a food hygiene rating of 1 following its most recent inspection.

There were several indications of staff training needs mentioned by the inspector. This included how kitchen staff were unaware of the correct fridge and freezer temperatures, and the correct cooking/reheating temperature of high-risk food.

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The inspector also said: "At the time of my inspection, I was advised the head chef had taken the probe thermometer away and that the staff on duty ‘taste the food’ to see if it is cooked thoroughly. This is not acceptable. 

"The relevant staff on duty need to be provided with and check the cooking and reheating temperatures with a probe thermometer. Tasting the food is not a reliable way to ensure the food is cooked thoroughly and indicates a training need."

The inspector notes that "certain food handlers were not wearing clean clothing". They also "did not see any of the food handlers wash their hands", and wrote that they should be washed in particular after using the toilet, after smoking, and before starting food preparation.

Dried garlic was found to be stored in the toilet lobby, and the door was propped open. The inspector said: "You must not store food in this area, and you must keep the toilet doors closed as toilets must not lead directly into areas where food is handled."

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There was no written allergen information available at the time of the inspection, and a risk of cross contamination of allergens was noted. The inspector wrote: "You should assess the risks of food being contaminated by other allergens handled, and you may need to inform customers that you cannot guarantee food you prepare will be totally free from allergens."

At the time of inspection, the food safety officer did not see any food handlers wash their hands - and some food handlers were found wearing dirty clothes.At the time of inspection, the food safety officer did not see any food handlers wash their hands - and some food handlers were found wearing dirty clothes.
At the time of inspection, the food safety officer did not see any food handlers wash their hands - and some food handlers were found wearing dirty clothes.

A number of areas were also highlighted in need of "thorough cleaning", including the kitchen, storeroom, staff toilet and exterior. 

The inspector wrote: "While I have made some observations to health and safety, this visit was not a full health and safety inspection. Such a visit will be made in the future. 

"A revisit will be made to check progress with work and whether any enforcement action is needed."

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On Google, Almas is rated 4.5 out of 5, with 56 reviews. One customer said: "Exquisite food, excellent service, great atmosphere, incredible staff."

Anther said "it doesn't get better than this", after complimenting the meal they had.

As of October 2, the restaurant remained a 1-star hygiene rated establishment.