A POPULAR bingo hall in Ryde has been given a one-star food hygiene rating.

Inspectors who visited the Leo Leisure Commodore Bingo Club last month found the Star Street premises were not clean enough and steps had not been taken to reduce a potentially cancerous chemical found in fried foods.

Staff had failed to monitor the production of the chemical Acrylamide, which is found in fried foods, crisps and crackers, and take steps to reduce it. Acrylamide is a naturally forming chemical which, according to the European Food Safety Authority, can increase the risk of developing cancer.

By law, businesses are required to ensure levels are as low as reasonably practicable, by vacuum frying, par-boiling or frying foods at a lower temperature.

Inspectors also found the general standard of hygiene and cleanliness in the kitchen was unacceptable.

The deep fat fryer, grill, kitchen surfaces and area behind the sink were dirty, and the hand basin did not drain properly, which meant staff could not wash their hands properly.

Allergen information was not clearly displayed and legally required paperwork, identifying hazards and documenting food safety checks, had not been completed.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the Leo Leisure management team 'held their hands up' and apologised.

It said: "We are sure some of you have seen our latest food hygiene rating — the inspection took place over a month ago and we have already made all the necessary changes needed to get us up to standard.

"It was an error on our part with the paperwork not being up to date.

"We were marked down for not having the food hygiene safety book onsite — we now have this onsite and all of our newer staff members are now food hygiene trained.

"We have applied for another inspection, so fingers crossed we get the chance to redeem ourselves sooner rather than later."

Comments on the post from regular customers have been entirely positive and supportive of the club.

UPDATE: Peter Brown, the Director of Leo Leisure, has said the family business are 'absolutely devastated' with the inspection result and that the manager of Ryde, Duncan Brown, his brother, has reliqunished his shares as a result.

He said: "We are a family run business, established for over 25 years and this has never happened to us before.

"The necessary action has been taken and our staff have been trained regarding Acrylamide.

"Unfortunately this was a management failure in that adequate paperwork was not completed and for that we have been heavily penalised.

"Our site manager, my brother and shareholder has taken full responsibility and has relinquished his shares as a result.

"We accept the decision, have taken ownership and made positive changes.

"We are very thankful that our loyal customers have continued to support us, we have received hundreds of messages and we can only hope that this does not have a detrimental effect on our business.

"We have some exciting plans for the future of Ryde and we are about to invest in a complete refurbishment of the site."