A BASINGSTOKE gastropub which is under “legal investigation” has been told it needs to make “major improvements” to ensure the food it serves is safe to eat.

The Sun Inn, in Winchester Road, North Waltham, was visited by inspectors on November 12 who gave it a one out of five for food hygiene.

However, the current owners said the inspector picked up on outstanding issues left by the former management which they were unaware of.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said its environmental health team is now working with the restaurant to “ensure the deficiencies that we found at the time of the inspection are rectified”.

But, the council was unable to provide further details of its findings because the pub is “the subject of an ongoing legal investigation”.

A statement from the council said: “Until our enforcement activity is concluded this information is exempt from disclosure.”

Areas inspected included the hygienic handling of food and cleanliness, and condition of the building, both of which were deemed to need improvements.

The Sun Inn built up its reputation under the management of award-winning chef Gordon Stott, who left in May to take over the Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover.

The kitchen is now run by head chef Daniel Roff, who took over the role in April having previously worked at Hotel du Vin and Oxfordshire Golf Club.

The new ownership said they were not aware of the issues when taking over the establishment.

A spokesperson for the Sun Inn said: “The content and conclusion of the report therefore came as a surprise to the head chef who has previously worked at blue chip establishments such as Hotel du Vin and is highly experienced in food hygiene standards.

“The team reacted immediately to rectify any issues and when another inspector from the agency visited The Sun on December 12 they were completely satisfied that all concerns raised had been suitably dealt with and that no threat to the welfare of the public now existed.”

Under the terms of the hygiene rating scheme as set by the Food Standards Agency the restaurant must keep its current rating for a minimum of three months before it can apply for a re-rating visit.