Six foodservice businesses in Auckland have been hit with the lowest food ratings, with several newcomers to the E-grade list. Four of the six D and E grades were due to pest infestations, with poor cleaning and hygiene an issue across the board.

"In general pest infestations are of greatest concern and likely to lead to a poor grade, when they are found in food preparation or food storage areas," said Mervyn Chetty, Auckland Council manager environmental health.

The six restaurants are:

  • Pepper Kitchen on Elliott Street, CBD - E-grade
  • Surasang in Wairau Valley - D-grade
  • Catering Masters in Mangere - E-grade
  • BBQ Noodle House in Albany - E-grade
  • Lucky Grill Seafood Restaurant in Highland Park - E-grade
  • Davin Bakery & Café in Te Atatu - E-grade

Catering Masters denied ever having a pest infestation, putting the grade down to a clerical error – they had never received a certificate from the pest control company proving that the regular check had been made.

"I do pest control every three months,” she said. “My major mistake was I didn't get a certificate done. Nothing was ever found at my shop."