Well, there are some big surprises in this article from R&TT:

http://goo.gl/cICm5f

A few places we've eaten at since their inspections, and been extremely happy with the food.

I guess such ratings are designed to reflect what a customer cannot see; facilities and procedures for the storage and handling of food, and staff education around the same. However I also wonder at the frequency of inspections. If you check the FSA website some of these inspections were many months ago or more. A lot of issues around safe storage and handling of food are quick enough to rectify should management be so inclined, but if an establishment is not re-inspected for some considerable time then that rating will stand and no doubt influence potential customers.

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Absolutely, Clive.  I know of one establishment on that list (not from Hampton) who failed to have hot water owing to a minor boiler fault so was docked a mark automatically.  Other small failings cumulatively ended up with a poor score.

As for the officers not going back promptly - I'm afraid this is one of the stealth service cuts that come with the prolonged austerity agenda currently being pursued by Richmond council and central government. You might not be seeing libraries closing, you might not be seeing A&E services being 'rationalised' but fewer staff means fewer opportunities to follow up on inspections; as a result low scores remain, businesses suffer and however hard the owners may try to make a go of their businesses, some businesses close as a result.

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