Pub landlady fined £3.5k for filthy kitchen

Pub landlady fined £3.5k for filthy kitchen

Inspectors visited several times and found the kitchen at the Queens Tap dirty

The Queens Tap

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

THE landlady of The Queens Tap Pub has been ordered to pay more than £3,500 after admitting breaking food hygiene laws at the premises on seven occasions.

Nicola King, 33, pleaded guilty to a range of offences after inspectors found repeated breaches of regulations, despite warning her on many occasions.

Among the things wrong with the pub, In Station Road, was an unclean kitchen, a lack of adequate hand washing facilities and a poor system of procedures in place to ensure hygiene was of a high standard.

She was ordered to pay £1,900 for seven offences and agreed to pay costs of just under £1,800.

Food inspectors first carried out inspections in January. They found dirt accumulating behind equipment, blood from meat and other debris at the bottom of the fridge and a freezer so iced over it could not close properly.

There was no system in place to date the food and a lack of proper training. When the inspector visited again in May, many of the problems had not been fixed.

Rosie Heath, prosecuting on behalf of the council, said: “On the return visit it was apparent there had been no improvement. The premises were dirty and no training had been done.

“At the bottom of a stand-up fridge there was dirt and blood and around the rim of the freezer there was mould.

“Dirt was gathered behind the equipment showing that no deep clean had taken place. While the inspector was present, Miss King went to wash her hands but there was nothing to dry them with.

“The state of the sink suggested it was not used that regularly.”

Despite further warnings, there was no significant improvement so the case came before court.

The landlady, who bought the pub in 2012, admitted she had done wrong and said this incident would serve as a wake-up call.

Defending her, Chris Oswald said: “There have been a number of challenges to Miss King both in her personal and business life.

“However, there can be no doubt of the importance of cleanliness to protect the public. This has served as a wake-up call. There have been a number of inspections since and many of these problems have been addressed.

“There will be no further problems here.”

After the hearing, Coun Emma Faramarzi, Swindon Council’s cabinet member for public safety, said: “Prosecutions of this nature are a last resort as we always try to work with businesses to help them reach the required food hygiene standards.

“However, when no improvement is forthcoming, we have to take action as we have a duty to protect the public. I hope this case reassures people that we take breaches of hygiene regulations extremely seriously and that it also serves as a warning to other businesses who are not complying with the food hygiene standards.

“Although the majority of food businesses in Swindon are compliant, consumers should always check the Food Standard Agency’s hygiene ratings at www.food.gov.uk/ratings.

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