TWO businesses in the Cotswolds have received one star food hygiene ratings from health inspectors.

The rating is the next to lowest on the zero to five scale used by the Food Standards Agency (FSA), and means that "major improvement is necessary".

The two businesses to receive the rating, listed on the FSA website, are Queens Head Inn, The Square, Stow-On-The-Wold and Maharaja based at the Volunteer Inn in Lower High Street, Chipping Campden.

The FSA scheme gives businesses a rating from five to zero and the takeaways are forced to display the information on their premises and online, so consumers can make more informed choices about where to buy and eat food. The ratings available range from 5 - hygiene standards are very good, to zero - urgent improvement is required.

No Cotswold food outlets are currently listed on the FSA site as having a zero website.

READ MORE: Classic cars on show at Cotswold Festival of Motoring

Ratings are judged by inspectors on the standards in the handling of food, how food is stored, how food is prepared, cleanliness of facilities and pest control, how food safety is managed and evidence staff know about food safety.

All information published is based on results on the FSA website as of June 26, 2019, and inspections are listed as the latest carried out. If managers disagree with a rating, or believe their business has been upgraded since receiving the one star rating, they should contact the FSA directly.

Managers can also request a new inspection through the website.

The Queens Head Inn was given a one star rating at its last inspection, which took place on September 13, 2018.

Inspectors found hygienic food handling to be generally satisfactory, the cleanliness and condition of facilities and building to also be generally satisfactory but the management of food safety being rating as major improvement necessary.

The Journal called the pub and was told it is now under new management, and there would be no comment on an inspection carried out under previous tenants.

A spokesman from Donnington Brewery, which owns the pub, said the new tenant was "fantastic", and stressed they were confident the pub will get a higher FSA rating when it is retested.

Meanwhile the Maharaja was given one star at its last inspection held on December 18, 2018.

In that inspection hygienic food handling was found to be good, cleanliness and condition of facilities and building were generally satisfactory, but inspectors said on the management of food safety major improvement was necessary.

The Journal attempted to get a response but no one was available for comment.

Helen Cameron, food safety manager at Worcestershire Regulatory Services, said: “The food hygiene ratings are about putting power into the hands of the public because they can see at a glance the standard of hygiene in restaurants, cafes, take-aways and food retailers.

"If a business only scores one out of five, they will be given a written action plan on how to improve their standards and could face enforcement action if improvements are not made.

"We encourage people to alert us to any issues they find at food outlets on 01905 822799 or"

READ MORE: The nine food businesses given one star rating by Worcester health inspectors