A FAST-food chain has said it is taking "immediate steps" to improve after hygiene inspectors found its Darlington restaurant required improvement and gave it a poor rating.

Burger King in the Cornmill Shopping Centre in Darlington town centre was given an 'TWO' rating by the Food Standards Agency after it was inspected in March, last year.

The Northern Echo recently named Burger King among a number of premises deemed as requiring some form of 'improvement' after achieving a low hygiene rating of 2 and under. 

An investigation into the number of Burger King restaurants with a poor hygiene rating found the Darlington store had the worst rating out of every Burger King in the North-East.

The Northern Echo:

Across the country, food outlets including convenience stores, restaurants, pubs, takeaways and hospitals are ranked between 0 and 5 for hygiene and safety, structural compliance and confidence in management.

In Darlington, the Burger King restaurant has been scored the equivalent of "Some Improvement Necessary."

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Burger King, said: "Maintaining a high level of cleanliness and hygiene is of utmost importance to us at Burger King. 

"We’re taking this report very seriously and taking immediate steps to enforce our cleanliness and hygiene standards."

Councillor Alan Marshall, Darlington Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Economy, said the local authority was now working with Burger King and other poorly rated businesses to raise hygiene "standards."

He said: “Food safety is very important and our environmental health team will investigate any complaints made or concerns raised about food businesses. 

"While a small number of food businesses have performed poorly, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of places have good levels of hygiene.

"For those food businesses who are not currently at the level they need to be, our environmental health team is working with them to raise their standards, and they are aware that potential customers will be watching to see if and when those standards improve."

Cllr Marshall added: "I’d encourage people to visit the Food Standards Agency website to check out the hygiene rating of a place they are planning to eat at before they go."

To raise an issue with a premises, email environmentalhealth@darlington.gov.uk or telephone 01325-405111.