QUALITY COUNTS: Katie Barker receives her NFFF quality award from assessor Hugh Mantle
QUALITY COUNTS: Katie Barker receives her NFFF quality award from assessor Hugh Mantle

STAFF at a popular fish and chips shop in Barnard Castle after cooking up a top award for the quality of the food.

Katie's Traditional Fish and Chips has received a National Federation of Fish Friers (NFFF) Fish & Chip Quality Award.

The award identifies outlets that serve the highest quality fish and chips following a thorough assessment of the premises, equipment, working practices, hygiene standards and management controls, along with the quality and taste of cooked fish and chips.

The award comes shortly after Katie’s Traditional Fish and Chips achieved highly commended recognition at the 2019 National Fish and Chip Awards in the NFFF Quality Award champion category and being named a finalist if the growth business award at the Teesdale Business Awards.

Owner Katie Barker said: “We are delighted to achieve this prestigious award. To be recognised as one of the top fish and chip shops by the NFFF is indeed an honour.

“The award doesn’t just represent the fish and chips we produce but also the hard work and high quality produce our local suppliers provide us to work with.”

She added: “I must give credit to our hardworking staff. I would like to offer my sincere thanks for their continued hard work and efforts to maintain our excellent reputation. We have undertaken staff training this year to help develop our staff. We will also be looking for a new apprentice to join our team in the coming month.”

The NFFF, the trade body that represents the nation’s fish and chip shops, runs the scheme as a way of raising standards within the fish and chip trade and enhancing the profile of the industry.

The scheme is a way of rewarding and promoting shops that provide good quality products and high standards of hygiene, as well as friers who show a high level of competence.

To qualify, each shop has to go through an inspection by a NFFF approved assessor who looks at the shop’s presentation, hygiene and cleanliness, staff training, equipment, frying and sales skills and, most importantly, the quality of the cooked product.

This award sets the new benchmark for quality within the industry. It will signal to the consumer that they can buy with confidence where the award is displayed, and it will encourage more outlets to raise their standards.

Each Fish and Chip quality award is valid for two years and retention is dependent on standards being maintained as validated by NFFF officials and appointed assessors.

NFFF president Andrew Crook said: “Food safety is a key area that we examine together with other key aspects of the business including the preparation and cooking equipment, to the management of paperwork and the traceability of fish.

"Katie’s Traditional Fish and Chips clearly takes pride in where it sources its fish and potatoes from. Achieving the NFFF Fish & Chip quality award provides reassurance to customers that they are being served cooked food using high-quality ingredients.”