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Loughton Belgique owner defends hygiene record after zero out of five rating

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Igor Bekaert has installed new management at the Loughton branch Igor Bekaert has installed new management at the Loughton branch

The owner of a chain of cafes has defended his company’s hygiene standards after a branch was given the lowest possible hygeine rating.

Igor Bekaert owns Belgique in High road, Loughton, and which was rated zero out of five by the Food Standards Agency.

Further details of problems found at the cafe have so far not been revealed, but Mr Bekaert said a manager had been sacked for gross misconduct following the inspection.

The two other Belgique cafes, in Epping and Theydon Bois, are both rated five out of five.

Mr Bekaert said: “We have all the correct procedures and paperwork in place but it was a case of a manager not following instructions.

“As long as we are dealing with humans there will be mistakes.

"We are complying with all the improvement requests."

Mr Bekaert said the previous manager found it difficult to cope as she was caring for her mother who was suffering from terminal cancer.

The cafe was last inspected on April 14 and is due to be re-inspected on Monday.

The Guardian is awaiting further details from the  Environmental Health department at Epping Forest District Council.

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