RESTAURANTS are enjoying the sweet taste of success in Colchester after being ranked highly in a national food safety survey.

The new study has ranked councils across the country on their record for enforcing food safety rules – and Colchester was placed 18th out of 395.

Research organisation Which? examined how councils maintain food hygiene standards, tackle food fraud and how many high and medium-risk businesses comply with regulations.

It also takes into account the number of premises which have not been visited, to see how the council keeps on top of new openings and the proportion of follow-up inspections which are not carried out.

Councillor Martin Hunt, who is responsible for waste services, said: “Colchester borough is home to both a large number and diverse range of food businesses.

“We are, therefore, delighted with this report which ranks our hygiene compliance as 18th from a total of nearly 400 local authorities in the country.

“The borough remains committed to ensuring all food businesses are regularly inspected and offered food safety guidance and training.

“Working with businesses in this way has seen a rise in standards, which often far exceeds the legal minimum.

“Inevitably, not all businesses achieve the same high standards.

“Individual food hygiene ratings are available to view on both the council’s and Food Standards Agency’s websites.”

Banquet 1408 Chinese restaurant, in London Road, Stanway, earned full marks on its latest inspection, meaning it has a very good grading.

Manager Karen Shipman said: “It shows we are doing our job properly.

“We take pride in the quality of food we serve and the way it, produced. We monitor it closely.

“With a restaurant like ours, you have to make sure everything is done by the book.

“I think the rating is important because if you get a bad reputation, everybody sees and they won’t come in.

“It is not that easy to get a five – you have to work hard for it.”