The Food Standards Agency has labelled more than one in ten of Kingston’s restaurants as less than satisfactory in its last hygiene inspections.
After every inspection the restaurants are given a sticker with the new rating to put on their door so customers can easily see and decide if they want to go in.
However, publicly displaying the rating is not compulsory in the UK.
Helga Jackson, Kingston environmental health and food and safety manager, said: “If you can’t see the rating on the door, ask yourself why.
“Higher rated restaurants will display a rating but those at the lower end of the scale may well not.”
She added that the most common failings were untrained staff, insufficient cleaning, failure to keep raw meat separate from ready to eat foods, poor temperature control, or insufficient provision for hand washing.
One of the places that got a rating of 2, or “improvement necessary”, in 2013, was the Royal Voluntary Service Tea Bar at Kingston Hospital.
The low rating was given due to a lack of confidence in management competence.
Ruth Taylor, from the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “We conducted a formal internal review of the food hygiene practices at the service and instigated an action plan to improve the rating and the service the Tea Bar was providing.
“All the required actions have been implemented and continuous review and monitoring of systems have been put into operation.
“As a result the Tea Bar was reassessed by the Environmental Health Officer in January 2014 and received a 5 star report with no contraventions sighted.“
However, not all restaurant owners seem satisfied with the way their hygiene performance is marked.
Ravel Soulani, who used to own a takeaway in Surbiton, said: “Some of the things they tell you to do are just ridiculous.
“They can get you into trouble for a loose tile in your kitchen.”
Food safety Manager, Helga Jackson, said: “A single loose tile would not affect the rating if the rest of the premises and practices were very good.”
This interactive map shows you all the restaurants in Kingston that were given a rating lower than “generally satisfactory” in their last inspection according to the Food Standards Agency.