Horrified hygiene inspectors find flies, E.coli and mouldy Sunday roasts in pub

Horrified hygiene inspectors find flies, E.coli and mouldy Sunday roasts in pub


A pub has been fined thousands after horrified inspectors found rotting, mouldy food in the kitchen and even traces of E.coli.

Jane Tadman, owner of the White Hart pub in Cullompton, Devon, failed to keep kitchen utensils clean and store food or remove waste properly.

Inspectors said they were met with the smell of rotting food and flies in the kitchen when they arrived.

The worktops were covered with unwashed equipment, food packaging, dirty dish cloths and mouldy plates of food.

A judge said the kitchen was found 'in a filthy condition, with mouldy, rotten and out of date food; food taken away for analysis showed E. coli present'.

Tadman was sentenced at Exeter Magistrates Court having pleaded guilty to six food hygiene offences, reports Devon Live .

The offences were:

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  • Failure to keep the food premises clean, maintained in good repair and condition by the filthy condition of the kitchen, equipment and utensils.
  • Failure to effectively clean and disinfect articles, fittings and equipment, with which food comes into contact at a frequency sufficient to avoid any risk of contamination by the filthy condition of articles, fittings and equipment.
  • Failure to store raw materials and ingredients in appropriate conditions designed to prevent harmful deterioration and protect them from contamination by deteriorating food stored in the kitchen.
  • Failure to remove food waste from rooms where food is present as quickly as possible. So as to avoid their accumulation with waste food, debris and packaging left out, accumulating on top of and underneath worktops and appliances, and an open and overflowing waste bin.

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  • Failure to protect food against any contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption, injurious to health or contaminated in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be consumed in that state owing to the poor state of: the kitchen with dirty and unclean worktops, equipment and utensils; filthy wiping cloths on worktops used in food preparation; flies on work surfaces and equipment; no means of allowing the hygienic washing of hands before the handling of food; the storing of food uncovered leading to the presence of mould or purification of foods, and; the microbiological examination of food, including formal food samples, with unsatisfactory results for food and environmental swabs and wiping cloths present with Escherichia coli and Enterobacteriaceae.
  • Failure to put in place, implement and maintain a food safety management system based on HACCP principles with the absence and false recording of management checks.

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The fat fryers, griddle and microwaves were enveloped in grease and food debris, as was the cooking range, which also had a saucepan of stock left on top with mould growth.

Further mould was found on the seals of the freezers and refrigerators.

Inside the fridges, the inspectors found food at differing stages of decomposition, including a rhubarb crumble, curry sauce, various breads, bagged vegetables and a rancid batter mix.

The dish cloths that were tested returned positive results for E. coli and Enterobacteriaceae, indicating a cross-contamination risk.

There was no evidence of a documented food safety management procedure found to be in place. The conditions posed an imminent risk to the public.

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The White Hart was only allowed to fully reopen once considerable work had taken place to improve standards, however, the premises were closed down again in July last year after standards once again deteriorated.

The pub fully reopened again in December 2019.

District Judge Matson said: "The kitchen was found in a filthy condition, with mouldy, rotten and out of date food; food taken away for analysis showed E. coli present.

"The premises were visited again by Council officers on 11 July 2019 and it was found the kitchen had not improved.

“I have to assess this case using the sentencing guidelines for food hygiene offences. I consider the culpability for the sentencing guidelines to be high. The defendant company fell far short of the appropriate standards.

"This is a serious offence. I have looked at the sentencing guidelines and assess the defendant company to be a micro business. I consider that the guidelines state £12,000 per offence.

"However, the guidelines state to take into account proportionality particularly actual turnover of the company and the net profit. I consider the fine should be £6,000 but will reduce this to £3,600 due to the guilty plea.

"I order the defendant to pay the prosecution costs of £3,000. I also apply the victim surcharge giving a total £6,700.”

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