A FOUR-STAR hotel which is a popular wedding venue has been graded as one out of five for its food hygiene.

Oakley Hall Hotel was inspected on March 18 and a food safety officer from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council found improvements were needed in the hygienic handling of food, and cleanliness and condition of the building, while major improvements were needed for the management of food safety.

However, the full hygiene report which would provide further details as to what was found during the inspection has not been released by the council because the restaurant is “the subject of an ongoing legal investigation”.

The hotel has criticised the council for forcing businesses to keep their hygiene score for three months.

A spokesman for Oakley Hall said: “We were extremely disappointed with the conclusion of the report and we have worked efficiently and collaboratively to promptly rectify all the areas of concern within 24 hours.

“Following a further inspection, the agency are completely satisfied that all concerns raised were dealt with immediately and is subsequently expected that they will reinstate Oakley Hall with their excellent rating. It is regretful that, unlike other councils, Basingstoke council can only carry out a re-score after a ‘standstill’ period of three months.”

He also pointed out that Oakley Hall has been inspected routinely for more than 15 years and found to be “compliant” for hygiene, adding: “We would also like to stress that food safety, hygiene and cleanliness in our hotel is and remains paramount to our daily work.”

A statement from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council said the Environmental Health Team is working with the restaurant at Oakley Hall to “ensure that the deficiencies that we found at the time of the inspection are rectified”.

It said that the hygiene report cannot be released until its “enforcement activity is concluded”.

Referring to the three months businesses have to wait before their score can be changed, the statement said: “Guidance issued by the Food Standards Agency advices councils to wait three months before carrying out a further inspection in these cases. There is a ‘right to reply’ option, and businesses have the ability to appeal the rating if they feel it is unfair or wrong.”