Ever wondered what’s lurking in the kitchens of your favourite takeaway shops? Just how hygienic are the surfaces on which that seemingly tasty Chinese has been prepared?

The Food Standards Agency rates every business selling food with a simple star rating from five, meaning very good, to zero, meaning urgent improvement necessary.

The Times Series has dug out the FSA’s latest hygiene inspection ratings and is naming and shaming Barnet’s nine worst businesses that each received a ‘zero’ rating at their last inspection.

Get ready to rethink that Friday night takeaway…

Times Series:

Chu Chin Chow, in Cat Hill, East Barnet
Last inspected: November 5, 2013

This Chinese takeaway was given the lowest food hygiene rating during its last inspection in November. The Times Series was unable to contact the business for a comment.

Times Series:

Finchley Food Stores, Regents Park Road, Finchley Central
Last inspected: January 7, 2014

Shop assistant Kamran Hussain said: “I don’t understand why we got a zero. We were given a four rating at the inspection before this. To be honest I don’t care really. All I care about is that our customers know my shop is clean.

“The Food Standards Agency needs to get their ratings right. This was the same shop, in the same conditions as before. They gave us some things to do and we have done that so hopefully it will go up again.”

Times Series:

Al Mansoor Halal Meat, Woodhouse Road, North Finchley
Last inspected: December 17, 2013

Owner Arshid Mahmood said he had only taken over the shop, which has changed its name to Fresh Food and Halal Meat, recently. He told the Times Series that inspectors had come soon after the takeover but he had since improved things.

He said: “If someone came to review it now we would be getting a very good rating. We have taken the actions that were needed to make it nice, tidy and clean.

“This shop was 30 years old and had never properly been cleaned. I would like the inspectors to come back now – it has completely changed.”

Times Series:

Ho Lok, Ballards Lane, North Finchley
Last inspected: July 25, 2013

The Times Series contacted this Chinese takeaway and was told the manager would call back but no call has since been received.

Times Series:

Lahore Tikka Masala, Station Road, Edgware
Last inspected: October 23, 2013

The man who answered the phone insisted that inspectors had come back a fortnight ago and given the restaurant a four star rating.

Times Series:

Mattancherry, Golders Green Road, Golders Green
Last inspected: February 4, 2013

The Times Series has been unable to contact this kosher Indian restaurant, which was last inspected less than seven weeks ago.

Times Series:

Mehfil restaurant, Park Road, Hendon
Last inspected: December 12, 2013

Owner Mahendra Patel said: “The rating related to bad record keeping, which came as a result of a lot of personal problems recently.

“I have done everything they wanted but it can take up to three months for me to get another inspection. It is one of those things – it all came at once.

“I was up to three previously and, when they come again, I expect it to be up to four or five.”

Times Series:

Pamchal Iranian restaurant, Bell Lane, Hendon
Last inspected: September 29, 2013

No-one answered when contacted by the Times Series.

Times Series:

Wings Chinese food, Deans Lane, Edgware
Last inspected: February 5, 2014

The Times Series was unable to contact this takeaway restaurant for a comment on their zero food hygiene rating.