A London restaurant owned by the MasterChef judge John Torode has received only two out of a potential five stars for cleanliness.

Smiths of Smithfield was rated as merely "fair" in hygiene and safety – thus failing to live up to the flawless standards Torode expects of contestants on the BBC1 show.

Health inspectors for Islington Council said that they had only "some" confidence in the restaurant's management. They reported: "Hand-washing in cooking and preparation areas requires improving."

They also criticised the restaurant for not supplying paper towels in the dispenser for workers to dry their hands, in breach of regulations.

Islington councillor Paul Smith said that the restaurant was "broadly compliant" following the last inspection, carried out in December 2009. This could be considered an improvement for Torode's establishment, however, which was marked down as poor in its 2007 report.

In response to the report's public airing, a spokesman for the chef said that it had been conducted "a while ago" and offered no further comment.

A new series of MasterChef began last week.

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