JW3 shuts down restaurant after 'very disappointing' one-star hygiene rating

The London cultural centre cited Baladyt's 'very disappointing food hygiene rating' and said it was looking for a new food partner


Healthy Vegetarian Falafel Pita with Rice and Salad

JW3’s Middle Eastern restaurant Baladyt has closed its doors four months after food safety inspectors gave the premises a food hygiene rating of one out of five, declaring “major improvement” was required.

The cultural centre’s on-site restaurant on Finchley Road, north-west London, opened at the start of the year and sold a selection of vegetarian Middle Eastern dishes including falafel, which it claimed was “the best in London”. However, inspectors found hygiene wanting when they visited in May – and a fresh inspection arranged by JW3 found the restaurant was “not offering [customers] the level of quality” expected.

Alongside the one-star rating, the May report noted that “major improvement” was necessary when it came to Baladyt’s management of food safety, indicating insufficient systems or checks were in place to ensure that food served was safe to eat.

Improvement was also required when it came to the cleanliness and condition of the premises, and the hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage.

Now, JW3 has announced it is to close the restaurant permanently, ending its relationship with its “food partner”, citing the “very disappointing food hygiene rating”.

In a statement, the cultural hub said: “With so many people coming through the doors of JW3, it’s crucial for us to have the best possible food offering for what is the beating heart of our community centre.

“During the trial period with our new food partner Baladyt, we became aware of a very disappointing food hygiene rating by Camden Council of Baladyt at JW3.

“Because the health and safety of our visitors is our top priority, we immediately began discussions with the Balady management to ensure each of the issues raised by Camden Council were swiftly remedied. Giving time for necessary improvements to be made, we also took the additional step of arranging an independent inspection.

“Following the second inspection report, it was clear that Baladyt was not offering the level of quality that is acceptable from our food partner and sufficient remedies had not been adequately delivered. As a result, Baladyt at JW3 has closed.”

It added: “It is now our focus to find and bring in a new catering partner who will be able to serve our busy community to the highest possible standards and we are open to offers of interest.”

JW3 said it would introduce a “temporary solution” in the interim to ensure visitors are not left without food and drink.

Balady, which operated Baladyt, has been contacted for comment. A spokesman said the group would comment after Yom Kippur.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive