A sushi restaurant in East London has been slammed with a zero hygiene rating.
Iso Sushi Wok and Grill in Chingford was hit with the lowest possible ranking following an inspection by the Food Standards Agency in April this year.
A Waltham Forest food safety officer found that the restaurant’s hygienic food handling, cleanliness and management of food safety all needed “major improvement”.
The FSA in partnership with Waltham Forest council have utilised the Scores on Doors scheme to guide customers in choosing where to eat out or shop, by providing information on its hygiene standards.
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A business is given one of six ratings to display on their shop door, ranging from the lowest – “0” (urgent improvement necessary) to “5” – the highest (very good).
As stated by both Waltham Forest and the FSA: “The Food Safety Team aim to protect the health of all people by ensuring food and drink available in our Borough is safe to consume.
“Premises will be inspected by one of our food safety officers to check that they are meeting legal requirements on food hygiene.”
The Japanese Sushi takeaway chain has branches in Chingford, Wolverhampton and Isleworth.
Their website front page reads: “We pride ourselves in high quality ingredients, value for money and most importantly, a taste that will keep you coming back for more.”
The restaurant serves a selection of affordable Japanese dishes, including mains that cost between £6.95 and £12.95, as well as kids meals and party platters.
The Chingford branch is famous for its association with former Leyton Orient player and influencer, Kevin Alexander Stephens, popularly known on social media as Stevo The Madman.
However, the Enfield-born star told My London that Iso Sushi was taken over by new owners in February this year, and he was no longer a part of the restaurant when food safety inspectors visited the shop in April.
“When I was running the restaurant we prided ourselves on having a 5-star hygiene rating,” he said.
“I am very sorry to hear what has happened since I relinquished interest in the restaurant.
“I have however spoken to the new owners who have made assurances to me the hygiene situation has been addressed.”
The sportsman-turned-influencer took ownership of the eatery in January 2019. He has amassed over half a million followers on Instagram through comedic portrayals of his family’s life on the social media app, Snapchat.
Although Stephens stated that the food hygiene score was handed to Iso Sushi Wok and Grill long after he left, it had also been hit with poor reviews elsewhere.
It received a majority of negative reviews on the user comparison website, TripAdvisor, including 13 “terrible” reviews and two “poor” ones out of 27.
One customer left a review in August 2020 and rated it zero out of 10: “All I’m going to say is that it’s one of the worst meals and service I’ve ever had.
“Do not go here you will waste your money and time. This restaurant will not last 0/10.”
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In January, one customer ranked the takeaway one out of five.
“I don’t think that you can call this sushi, it’s just rice, maybe with 1-2 small prawns,” they said.
“Chicken Teriyaki – chicken was very dry, with lots and lots of rice. No vegetables at at all.
“Sweet Potato tempura was ok, just no seasoning. Disappointed food tasteless.”
Iso Sushi Wok and Grill have been approached multiple times for comment.