British Airways’ Concorde Room gets “poor” hygiene rating

Hygiene aside, my experience at the British Airways Concorde Room earlier this year was underwhelming. The service was horrible and food more or less inedible, not something you’d expect from an airline’s flagship lounge.

Unfortunately it looks like the lounge’s issues go far beyond that, as an inspection of the Concorde Room has revealed that under the Food Hygiene Rating Scheme the Concorde Room gets a rating of “poor.” This puts them in the bottom 10% of food establishments on the UK. You can find the full report here.

Per this FlyerTalk thread, the issues included:

Out of Date Ingredients Used: eggs and quince beyond their safe use-by date were being served to passengers.

Meat Stored at Room Temperature: ham sandwiches and cooked ham left at 16°C/61°F. The maximum safe temperature is 8°C/46°F

Hot Food Not Hot Enough: sausages and scrambled eggs left at 50°C/122°F. The minimum safe temperature is 63°C/145°F

Kitchen Dirty: 7 separate areas were found to be so dirty they needed an immediate thorough cleaning.

Cross Contamination of Food: a member of staff handled raw salmon, then immediately performed other kitchen duties without removing their gloves, or washing their hands, risking cross-contamination.

No Training Records Available: Compass did not pass on their training records to BaxterStorey, so BS was unable to hand any record of compliance with training standards to the inspector.

Risk of Access by Rats, Mice and Insects: a long gap in a kitchen back door required immediate filling to minimise pest entry points.

Ouch!

British_Airways_Concorde_Room
British Airways Concorde Room

Comments

  1. Yeah, the last time I was through the concord lounge, my GF and I got very bad food poisoning (most likely ecoli from the burger we had) and we were sick the entire F class flight from LHR to SFO.. I should have complained to BA at the time, since it appears to be such an issue.

  2. Outdated quince! The horror!

    But everything else sounds just terrible. They need me working there. The one time I was heading the kitchen at my culinary school, we had an inspector show up and she didn’t find a thing wrong. That almost never happens!

  3. Ouch! Especially at a a place for High Value Customers to relax. Are they required (like many states in the United States) to post this poor health rating somewhere in public view? I wonder the type of response they’d get if they posted this at the entrance.

  4. They should be ashamed of themselves. Bad/indifferent service and subpar food options would be forgiveable but there’s no excuse for those violations!

    In case someone doesn’t want to read the entire FT thread, here are a couple interesting recents posts:

    “While bored in the CCR, I decided to ask the supervisory kinda lady what BA’s stance was. She said there were “officially, some teething problems, but we don’t have an official statement” but that the CCR staff were informed yesterday at a staff meeting and were completely unaware before. She did say, although, that she suspected something was going on, because the CEO of BS was down there with BA’s head of slop 3 out of 5 days last week.”

    AND

    “A schoolfriend of mine is relatively senior in BA’s commercial arm. He has said that this is being regarded as noisy people on the internet.

    Sorry to be so vague but I can’t be more specific. I’m not sure that large organisations understand that forums such as this have relatively informed individuals.”

  5. Not surprised in the least. To be perfectly frank I don’t see the attraction of eating what passes for food in an airport lounge these days. Is there someone out there who still thought buffets were hygienic to begin with? Even when you’re at the “best” of lounges and the food *looks* good I’d still keep my distance…

    http://www.samchuiphotos.com/EK384/

  6. BA and Concorde is a dump anyway.
    In fact everything British is pretty much a dump.
    I wouldn’t waste a single penny on a LHR route.

  7. Great thread, another reason to love the internet, but can’t get too excited over inedible food in the UK.

    My wife works in what is considered to be a nice restaurant and she doesn’t recommend eating out. Hell, we went to Cheesecake Factory for her birthday and I got diarrhea. We should all be like Monk and prepare our own food.

  8. Is this a surprise? Eating any preprepared food at any lounge likely has similar issues. Heat lamps aren’t enough – food that sits out for 8-10-12 hours with people picking over it, coughing on it, sticking their grubby hands in it (see that all the time), is why I won’t eat anything but things like bananas/oranges, or made to order food I can see with my own eyes.

  9. That’s disgusting! And I don’t normally consider myself a germ-o-phobe.
    @Carl – I don’t know what kind of restaurant your wife works at, but throughout my high school and college years I worked at several different restaurants and fast food places in the south and Midwest and the grossest thing I ever saw was somebody dropping a frozen chicken patty and immediately picking it up and putting it in the fryer. Maybe I was lucky with where I worked but I’ve never seen anything that would put me off eating in restaurants.
    This report, however, does put me off eating at the Concorde lounge.

  10. I think the rating is terrible and management should improve asap. However cannot understand general anti BA comments, what US airline is better?, I have not flown it if there is one also i have been to 10 US international airports and none as nice or clean as T5. JFK probably worst airport in the world

  11. Silly people! The food in airport lounges is not intended to be eaten; it is there for display purposes only – to give travel bloggers something to take pictures of. I thought you people understood that.

  12. I just had breakfast in the Concorde Room Friday morning; a full English breakfast. It tasted pretty good, though I should have read this report first!

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