Highbury cafe billed £2,500 for lying about food hygiene rating

Veli's Cafe showing the '5' food hygiene rating stickers, which were up while the cafe had a '1' rat

Veli's Cafe showing the '5' food hygiene rating stickers, which were up while the cafe had a '1' rating. It now has a '3' rating. - Credit: Archant

A Highbury café has been left with a bill for £2,500 after claiming it had a top food hygiene rating of 5 – when the actual rating was 1.

Veli’s Café in Drayton Park was visited by Islington Council’s trading standards officers in June after reports it had been displaying a fake certificate for almost a year.

On arrival they found two stickers with a 5 rating on the front door, as well as a certificate. A 5 rating means “very good” and the 1 rating it actually had means “much improvement necessary”.

Kinal Ltd, trading as Veli’s Café, was fined £1,500 in its absence at Highbury Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week.

It was found guilty of two offences and ordered to pay costs of £896 and a victim surcharge of £75, a total of £2471.

Veli’s did have a 5 rating, but it was downgraded to a 1 in july 2015. It now has a 3 rating.

Islington has urged other businesses to check they are displaying the right food hygiene ratings to make sure members of the public are not misled.

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Community safety boss Cllr Andy Hull said: “It’s important residents and visitors know where they can expect good food hygiene, and have confidence in the food hygiene rating system.”

In December the Gazette revealed the 23 restaurants in Islington that had been given zero ratings. Find them here.

To find out the food hygiene rating of rating of a particular food premises, visit ratings.food.gov.uk.

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