Blidworth landlord fined for poor food hygiene

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A BLIDWORTH pub landlord has been fined after environmental health officers discovered a catalogue of serious food hygiene offences at his premises.

Stephen Taylor (52) admitted nine hygiene breaches following inspections in November 2011 at the Bird in Hand.

Inspectors found mouldy pies and out-of-date food in fridges, dirty cloths, rusty food equipment posing a risk of contamination of food and a general lack of attention to hygiene management.

Staff also had little appreciation of the cross-contamination risks involved after the handling of raw meat and had to be reminded when to wash their hands.

Following a prosecution by Newark & Sherwood District Council, Taylor was fined a total of £2,100 on 21st June at Nottingham Crown Court.

He was also ordered to pay £200 as a contribution towards the council’s legal costs and a £15 victim surcharge.

Judge Michael Stokes QC said a fine was sufficient to underline the seriousness of the offence, rather than deal with him so harshly the business was put under threat.

He admitted the charges at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 2nd May and was sentenced on 21st June at Nottingham Crown Court.

Health and food safety officers visited the Bird in Hand following indications of poor hygiene revealed in a routine sampling exercise.

Food preparation had been under close scrutiny after samples taken from several parts of the kitchen and ready-to-eat foods were found to contain high levels of bacteria that had spread onto food and preparation surfaces.

Taylor, who had run the pub for nearly 10 years and was not represented in court, said that he left the operation of the kitchen to his wife.

Only after a further eight visits by inspectors have improvements been made.

The pub is now rated as good under the Food Hygiene Rating System, the national standard used by Newark & Sherwood District Council to rate the hygiene of food premises.

Environmental health manager Alan Batty said: “We will rigorously enforce the law and use all the powers at our disposal against businesses which choose not to comply with hygiene requirements.

“This case sends out a clear message to the food business community that poor standards will not be accepted.”