A POPULAR East Lancashire bakery is set to get a one star hygiene rating and the owners have taken to social media to explain why.

The Instagram famous Finch Bakery in Queen Street, Great Harwood, is set to receive the low score in the coming days despite having sparkling-looking facilities.

And the owners have said they were in line to get a five star rating until it was discovered they had some “unknowingly incorrect paperwork" which handed them an automatic one-rating from the Food Standards Agency.

They said the rating was “really embarrassing” for the team and they “can’t blame anyone but themselves.”

Hyndburn Borough Council confirmed the rating is due to a "management system not being in place" and inspectors will revisit in July, when the sisters who own the bakery expect to get a five-star rating.

Co-owner Rachel Finch said she and her sister were “reluctant to post” the update but wanted to “be as transparent and honest as possible”.

Posting to social media, she said: “We recently had our spot check by health and hygiene in our new bakery in Great Harwood and due to unknowingly incorrect paperwork we automatically got a one star after being told we would have recieved a five.”

Posting a snap of their Great Harwood kitchen, Rachel said: “As you can see everything in our kitchen is brand new and the inspector was very happy with our food prep, food storage, machinery, clean down, uniforms, pest control, waste, general hygiene and cleanliness... which is what counts right?

“All of our customers know we pride ourselves on being so vigilant with allergens in the shop and when selling online; to say we’re gutted for missing this paperwork is an understatement.

“We were actually really excited for them to come and didn’t realise we’d done anything wrong.

“We have since had a meeting and phone calls with the council to produce a new document which has since been filled out.

"This paperwork and one piece of cardboard of the floor is the only reason for the automatic one star.”

Lancashire Telegraph: The Finch Bakery twinsThe Finch Bakery twins

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, co-owner Lauren Sinclair said they are “sad and embarrassed” this has happened.

She said: “We are seeing it as a learning curve and we hope it doesn’t impact our business, the comments back on social media so far have been nothing but supportive.

“Perhaps it will give people who are not in the food industry an insight into how a premises is rated as I know a zero, one or two star looks as if the establishment is just dirty or rat laden - however it couldn’t be further from the truth.”

She said the bakery is a “very low risk premises” compared to other food establishments as they don’t use meat, fish or frozen produce.

She said: “Our documentation and record keeping has been relatively simple over the last six years, something we now know to be too simple - however this is also something that has passed our previous inspections.

“The paperwork has been updated and we now are following a more bespoke manual related to cake making and preparation. We only have ourselves to blame for not following the correct procedure.”

Lauren encourages anybody who has a food establishment to “check with their local council” if they are unsure about any paperwork or food standards procedures.

She said: “The council is there to help you – not close you down”.

Dozens of Finch Bakery fans commented on their "honesty post", most of which are overwhelmingly supportive.

One person said: “You are an amazing family business! Delicious cakes, beautiful sparkling clean shop.

"This won’t deter any one from coming into to your lovely place."

Another said: “Your bakery is beautiful and looks absolutely immaculate."

“Won’t put me off coming to you guys, stay strong, keep doing the best work you do and don’t let it dishearten you,” said another.

A spokesperson for Hyndburn Borough Council said the one star rating was given due to a “management system not being in place”.

They said: “All food business operators are required to have a written food safety management system in place, which corresponds to the nature and size of the business.

“If the appropriate food safety management system is not in place a one hygiene rating will be issued in line with the national rating scheme guidelines.

“We can confirm following a food hygiene inspection at Finch Bakery, Queen St, Great Harwood on April 5 a hygiene rating of one was issued due to this management system not being in place. 

“A re-visit to the business will be carried out after July 5 and we are working with the owners ahead of this.

“Our officers will always work closely alongside businesses to help them meet the requirements for inspections and we are available for advice when needed.

“If any Hyndburn-based business would like support on this please get in touch by emailing: food_team@hyndburnbc.gov.uk.”