THE OWNER of a popular takeaway van has issued a response to the low food hygiene rating it received during its most recent inspection.

Ben's Kebab van - which is parked in the lay-by near the A419 Ebley Bypass - was handed a zero-out-of-five rating after an assessment on January 20.

After being inspected, Ben's Kebab received ‘urgent improvement necessary’ for the management of food safety.

Meanwhile, the takeaway received ‘improvement necessary’ for hygienic food handling and for the cleanliness and condition of facilities.

Ben Guo, who also owns takeaways in Nailsworth and King's Stanley, has slammed the system that inspects all food establishments in the district.

Mr Guo said: “I’ve reached my limit and I want to get my side of the story out.

“You think with the council that they’re always right.

“We asked for different inspectors. The staff are supposed to change but we’ve always had the same ones.

“This has been an ongoing situation since before Covid. We can’t keep spending all this money it's killing us.

“We’ve had to buy a new trailer with brand new equipment.

“I just want to run a business, I love living in Stroud. I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived in China, I moved here in 2003.

“I do as much as I can do to give back to the community and we’ve sponsored all of the local football teams.

“I’m just hoping SDC will change its rules and change how they run things.

“I’ve been speaking to my friends who run businesses in Gloucester and it’s fine there.”

Stroud News and Journal: Ben's Kebab van is located in the lay-by near the A419 Ebley BypassBen's Kebab van is located in the lay-by near the A419 Ebley Bypass (Image: Google Maps)

Food hygiene ratings reflect the hygiene standards which are found on the day of inspection by the local authority - they are not a guide to food quality.

SDC recently prosecuted Mr Guo for allegedly failing to implement changes at the kebab van and the case was due to be heard at Cheltenham Magistrates Court in February.

However, the case was dropped as it ran out of time due to a legal technicality and therefore evidence was not tested in court.

The inspection results were delayed due to the ongoing prosecution, and they were made public last month on June 8.

An SDC spokesperson said: “We are unable to discuss individual cases, however generally speaking, any decision to prosecute is never taken lightly.

“This would follow serious contraventions of food safety legislation representing a risk to public health, which are not addressed by the food business.

“We take a reasonable and graduated approach - food establishments are served with improvement notices and if they are not complied with, they are usually given the opportunity to accept a caution instead of facing prosecution.

“All food establishments in the district are treated in exactly the same way and we cannot ignore our statutory responsibility to protect public health.

“SDC inspects 995 food premises and only one has a zero star rating.

“We actively encourage and advise food businesses to help them achieve a five star rating, and champion their achievements on our social media channels.

“Operators of food businesses can apply for a re-rating inspection if they feel standards have improved.

“More information on food hygiene standards are available at"