Owners of the Toby Carvery in Enderby have been fined £15,000 after food safety inspectors discovered ‘filthy’ conditions at the pub on Leicester Road.
Environmental health officers from Blaby District Council visited the premises, which is run by Mitchells and Butlers, on 10 November 2010 and reported extremely poor hygiene standards.
A food safety manager for the company admitted at interview afterwards that the standards found were unacceptable and explained that immediate action had been taken to improve the situation but further inspections showed little sign of improvement and the Council decided to take enforcement action.
The company – which operates more than 1,600 pubs and restaurants in the UK – pleaded guilty to three breaches of food safety regulations at Leicester Magistrates Court on 23 April 2012.
They were fined £5,000 for each offence and ordered to pay £7,394 prosecution costs.
The court heard that on the initial visit in November 2010 council officers found dirty pots and pans piled high on the kitchen floor with dried food stuck to preparation areas.
Filthy dishwasher trays were discovered along with a dirty hand wash basin that had dried food on the taps, handles, and tiled walls around it.
A pool of dirty water had gathered at the bottom of a container used to store ‘clean’ cooking utensils. The equipment itself had dried meat and a fly stuck to it.
Fridges in the main kitchen were also found to be dirty, with raw meat and dried blood stuck to shelving in one of the units.
Officers witnessed a food preparation table being wiped with a cloth that had been kept in a pot full of brown coloured water.
During the inspection the pub manager provided a list of completed cleaning checks and schedules with apparently no issues identified.
Councillor Guy Jackson, portfolio holder for regulatory and neighbourhood services said: “This shows the Council is prepared to take action against any business or individual that is putting the health and safety of the public at risk.
“People have a right to feel confident when eating out that basic food hygiene standards are being met and in this case they fell well below the required level.
“Many businesses in Blaby district work extremely hard to achieve five star food hygiene ratings and this should also be recognised but we must take action against those with poor food safety records.”
The food safety manager for Mitchells and Butlers stated during an interview at Blaby District Council that the manager of the premises in Enderby was fully trained and the company could not have done anymore to prevent these offences from occurring.
However, inspections carried out by an external company hired by the pub operator earlier in 2010 showed an ‘inconsistent level of cleanliness’, which suggests the firm was aware of the need to improve hygiene standards before the Council’s initial visit in November that year.
For more information or to check food hygiene ratings in Blaby district and across the UK visit www.food.gov.uk/ratings.