A HUSBAND-and-wife team are pleased with their latest hygiene rating after taking over a Gastro pub from its previous owners.

Little Sicily, at the Blue Bell in West Mickley, Stocksfield, has been rated a 5 by the Food Standards Agency after an inspection on March 1 under its new owners , Rawa Omar and his wife Amalia Milona.

This comes after it was previously rated a one on 11  January this year under the previous owners.

The report at the time stated,  'Major improvement necessary,' which was the overall verdict delivered by FSA inspectors.

Hygienic food handling and the cleanliness and condition of the facilities and building were both rated as needing improvement.

There was also a note of the previous owner's handling of food safety management, which required major improvement, according to the FSA. 

Read more about the food inspectors' call for ‘major improvements’ at Little Sicily pub.

 Rawa Omar and his wife Amalia Milona , took over the business on February 5 and have worked hard to improve the rating.

Rawa said: “We were working at Little Sicily as staff when the previous owners had it and then we made the decision to take it over and improve it.

"We have worked very hard to achieve this score and we are extremely happy albeit tired but, in the end, we are very proud of this result as we worked so hard for it.

"From February 5 it has been our place.

"We paid for a revisit inspection as the last one took place in January when we didn't own it, and we weren’t happy with that and did not think it was fair for us to have that rating.

"We took things into our own hands and did everything from scratch.

"We fixed everything and got the rating that we deserve."

This rating was composed of a Hygiene Food Handling standard of “Very good,” a Cleanliness and condition of Facilities and Buildings standard of “Good,” and a Management of Food Safety standard of “Very good.”

The date of the inspection wil not change but the FSA have changed their rating.