Filth in kitchen leads to £20,000 fine
PUBLISHED: 13:30 28 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 24 May 2010
FOOD sitting in a pool of blood and filthy fridges were among the sights to greet an official inspecting the kitchen of a Clevedon pub. North Somerset Council inspected the Bristol Inn, on Chapel Hill, and gave repeated warnings about the poor state of af
FOOD sitting in a pool of blood and filthy fridges were among the sights to greet an official inspecting the kitchen of a Clevedon pub.North Somerset Council inspected the Bristol Inn, on Chapel Hill, and gave repeated warnings about the poor state of affairs there.On a visit in September 2005, official Judith Cayzer also found grease and dust covered glasses and cutlery, high-risk foods left lying around, an open packet of peas sitting in a pool of steak blood and a food handler wearing a food-splattered shirt.The pub's owner, Spirit Group Retail, eventually closed the kitchen for a thorough clean, but was still in court last week and fined £20,000 under food safety regulations.In court a company lawyer said the Bristol Inn's manager had pulled the wool over its eyes by falsifying cleaning records.Prosecuting at North Somerset Magistrates Court, Sally Andrews said the Bristol Inn was first told to pull its socks up in January 2004 and later warned repeatedly about the situation.In her inspection, Ms Cayzer also uncovered serious concerns including a "filthy" freezer, shelving and cooker, dried up and mouldy food, salad stored in a disinfectant bucket, a grease clogged ventilator and a soldering iron and pliers lying about.She said: "The top and outer surfaces of a hotplate were littered with old food debris such as dried lettuce, old chips and fried onions. Examination of the runners found congealed grease, food debris and dead insects. There was a small table next to this which was filthy and held a dusty radio."Defending, Rachel Lyne said things had gone horribly wrong at the pub.She said: "There is no evidence of nasty bugs found because no samples were taken, but we accept that the food wasn't stored properly at the time of the visit."Standards had dramatically fallen and were entirely unacceptable."An internal investigation was started immediately. What became clear is that our documents had been falsified by our bar manager. They had been completed, but falsified."She said the council had picked up the problems after a routine inspection, not through any customer complaint.The assistant manager was dismissed from his position and the manager left the company, she said. She said Spirit Group has seven similar convictions, but runs over 2,000 venues in England and Wales. The firm was fined £5,000 per offence of: failing to keep the premises clean and in good condition; failing to ensure food handlers maintained a high degree of cleanliness and wore protective clothing; failing to ensure all food was protected against contamination and failing to ensure all equipment in contact with food was clean and in good order and ordered to pay £4,724 costs.