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Swanage & Norden Catering Outlets Win Food Standards Agency Top Marks for Hygiene

Published: September 1, 2014

Story and pictures by Andrew P.M. Wright
Swanage Railway official photographer and press officer


Dedicated staff on the Swanage Railway are celebrating after their two popular station buffets both achieved five star ratings – being judged to operate to the highest hygiene standards in the annual Foods Standards Agency audits.

The top marks accolade in the nationwide grading system by the Government body comes as the Swanage Railway appeals for more volunteers to come forward and work in the Swanage and Norden station buffets housed in restored and converted 1950s British Railways carriages.

The hygiene benchmark for catering establishments, the Foods Standards Agency grading system judged the steam-operated heritage line's two station buffets to be 'very good' – Purbeck District Council public health inspectors giving them the top food hygiene rating No. 5.

Swanage Railway General Manager Richard Jones said: "Our dedicated catering staff work incredibly hard to deliver the best possible service to our passengers and this hygiene award from an independent national body reflects that emphasis on professionalism and commitment."

Swanage Railway Catering Manager Penny Smith explained: "It's very gratifying to be in the 'very good' category and the whole catering team is tremendously proud of their achievement. It's just reward for continued hard work.

"To ensure continued success and cater for public demand, we are appealing for more volunteers to come forward and help run the Swanage and Norden station buffets.

"Last year, the Swanage Railway carried more than 210,000 passengers," she added.

The Swanage and Norden station buffets serve a wide range of hot and cold drinks as well as light refreshments. The two buffets also sell an extensive array of home-made cakes, jams, marmalades and chutneys made in the Isle of Purbeck especially for the Swanage Railway.

Anyone interested in volunteering in the Swanage or Norden station buffets should contact Swanage Railway Catering Manager Penny Smith on 01929 475216 for an informal chat.

Swanage Railway train times and fares – as well as special event details – are available online at www.swanagerailway.co.uk or by calling 01929 425800.