The owner of Shakeaway’s Meadowhall site has claimed he’s been ‘thrown under the bus’ after the bar was slapped with a zero-star food hygiene rating.
Officers from the Food Standards Agency ordered ‘urgent improvements’ to be made at the milkshake following a damning inspection on November 22.
Following the report’s publication, a former employee shared pictures of the revolting conditions inside the bar with customers expressing their disgust on social media.
In a statement, Shakeaway said there was ‘no excuse for the poor standards’ and that an emergency team were currently bringing the site up to company standards.
They added that the franchisee had not advised the company that the store had fallen ‘so far behind the high standards expected of a Shakeaway outlet’.
However, the franchisee, known as Joseph, has now claimed that both Shakeaway and Meadowhall were aware of the poor conditions inside the store from as early as 2015.
He said: “We took over the lease in 2014 and a year later we told both Shakeaway and Meadowhall it needed a complete refurbish.
“After this we had to endure three years of Meadowhall and Shakeaway trying to agree a design plan and I’ve been caught in the middle.
“I haven’t been able to do any refurbishment as I’m not allowed to do any work of that kind so the store and our sales continued to deteriorate.”
Joseph said that a design was finally agreed in October with a closing and reopening date set until Meadowhall suddenly changed their minds.
“The business has been working at a loss for the last year and a half because of the awful conditions,” Joseph explained.
“We even had a meeting with Shakeaway on November 2, a few weeks before the inspection, so I don’t know how they can say they know nothing about it.”
The shocking pictures show grime underneath a fridge full of milk as well as a plug shoved inside a broken socket.
Another picture revealed further mould growing inside the bar as well as overflowing ice cream dripping down a fridge.
Joseph explained that the fridges pictured were broken and not in use and that they had done as much cleaning as they could do.
He said: “The main issue is not the bar itself but the stock room. We’ve closed that and had it sealed off. Our products are all packaged in containers so there’s nothing left open.
“We have a cleaning routine every day and our employees get paid for an extra hour to do this. We are not asking them to do any painting or repairs and we also do a deep clean every Sunday.
“The problem is the store does not look good. Meadowhall has just undergone a £50 million refurbishment but we haven’t had a refurbishment in 10 years.”
Shakeaway have said that the franchise store will close shortly with the entire site replaced with brand new kiosk.
Joseph explained that all the faults highlighted by the Food Standards Agency officers have now been rectified but confirmed that his lease had not been renewed.
“We are now looking for the officers to come back in and do a new report on us. The blame for this should be with Meadowhall and Shakeaway.
“I can take some of the blame but I’m the smallest player in the game and there’s two huge corporations going back and forth ahead of me.”
A Meadowhall spokesperson said: ““It is the responsibility of each business to comply with food hygiene law at all times. If certain standards are not upheld, or certain practices are unacceptable, it will become a matter for the Food Standards Agency.”