Poor hygiene standards at a Devon pub have been exposed following an inspection prompted by food poisoning complaints from a group of wedding reception guests last year.
Owners of The Globe Inn at Frogmore in Kingsbridge – 64-year-old John Horsley and his wife Lynda, 63 – were fined £4,000 each after inspectors found conditions at the pub had the potential to make patrons unwell.
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While magistrates heard there was no direct link between the pub’s cleanliness and the outbreak of food poisoning, its owners did face three charges under hygiene regulations. These related to not keeping the premises clean, having unsafe food placed on the market and failure to implement a food safety management system.
The pair pleaded guilty at Torquay Magistrates’ Court and had to pay costs of £1,798 in addition to their fines, which were a record high for a food safety case brought by South Hams District Council.
The investigation by environmental health workers found that unclean food and cloths were used at the premises.
The court heard that the pub had previously been inspected in December 2011, when it was told that hygiene improvements were necessary.
While it had put cleaning and food management systems in place following this inspection, standards had “slipped back” by the time of the wedding reception and the environmental health visit in October 2013, prosecutors said.
The council explained that while its policy is usually to give businesses a chance to meet standards after it has given advice and guidance, in this instance, the pub’s owners already knew about their obligations and had failed to meet them when it was inspected. It added that it does not take prosecution lightly.
The couple’s defence team said they were “devastated” by the event. They contacted the council on the next available day after receiving complaints from the wedding party, and have made numerous improvements since.
The pub has undergone a deep clean, which is now carried out on a regular basis, while food areas have been redesigned, staff have been retrained and improved food safety managements have been enforced.
Date Published: October 4, 2014
Author: David Brown