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Barrel & Stone wins Reading Festival top award

A catering company serving authentic stone baked pizza has won Reading Festival's 2017 gold Alfresco Award for food hygiene and best managed food outlet at this year's Reading Festival.

Barrel & Stone in the main arena won the accolade after scoring top marks in the Alfresco Award for outdoor caterers. The brand offers a range of thin and crispy stone baked pizzas, prepared in the traditional way, using authentic ingredients.

The firm impressed the Council, which inspects food outlets at the Reading Festival and offers them a food hygiene rating, after scoring top marks in food safety. It wins a free pitch at next year's Reading Festival.

Barrel & Stone also has its pizzas creates by its 'pizza ambassadors' in 60 pubs across the UK.

To achieve a maximum rating of 5 in the inspection and be eligible for the award, traders must pass strict criteria, including good standards of hygiene, health and safety and a regard for environmental issues.

Festival Republic judges other criteria including safety, how staff travel to and from the festival, if they use eco-friendly or biodegradable cleaning products, and how they recycle waste.

This year's silver award went to Barry Walters Catering from Carmarthen, which offered Pasties and Coffee. Festival regulars, they were winners of the gold award in 2012 and the bronze award in 2014. As runners up, the firm is entitled to a 20% discount off their pitch for next year's festival.

Gilcombe Farm - offering Hog Roasts in the main arena - was awarded bronze status, which entitles them to 10% off the pitch fee at next year's event. The company, run by Andy Portch, is also a regular at the festival and was previously awarded the silver award back in 2015.

This is the 18th year that the Alfresco Awards has celebrated the most hygienic food providers at the world renowned Reading Festival.

Cllr Sarah Hacker, Reading's Lead Member for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services, said, 'It's important that people who go to the festival know that the food they are buying on site is good quality and prepared in a safe and hygienic environment. The awards show that the quality of the catering on offer has continued to be maintained to an incredibly high standard.'