A TAKEAWAY branded with the lowest food hygiene rating earlier this year has gone from zero to hero.

Perfect Choice takeaway, in Borders Lane, Loughton, was condemned for its dirty kitchen after a visit from district council inspectors in May.

It received the lowest possible Food Standards Agency (FSA) rating of zero, meaning urgent action was required.

But the business has turned itself around, landing a 'very good' grading of five - the highest possible - following its most recent inspection in October.

The takeaway was found to have trained all its staff in food hygiene, thoroughly cleaned the premises and introduced procedures to prevent contamination.

The council signed up to the FSA's hygiene rating scheme in April and inspectors have now started the first round of revisits to zero-rated eateries.

Among those which have improved are The Green Man in School Road, Toot Hill, which earned a two rating in August, and Sprays Bakery, in Lambourne Road, Chigwell, which earned a three rating in September.

Cllr Will Breare-Hall, cabinet member for environment, said: "We are very pleased to see that businesses have taken the rating scheme seriously and congratulate those who have made great efforts to improve.

"This is an excellent start but we will continue to work with those who still need to make improvements."