Short measures clamp down at Edinburgh Festival

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Trading standards officers are clamping down on licensees who serve short spirit measures and pints, during this year's Edinburgh Festival.Officers...

Trading standards officers are clamping down on licensees who serve short spirit measures and pints, during this year's Edinburgh Festival.

Officers will be conducting spot checks in the next few weeks at pubs and festival venues and anyone caught giving the wrong measures will be prosecuted, Edinburgh Council has warned.

Leanne Mabberley of Edinburgh trading standards told thePublican.com: "Spirits should either be 25ml, 35ml or multiples thereof and the head on a pint should not be more than 5 per cent.

"Last year 23 spirit samples were not up to scratch and two beer samples resulted in a written warning and verbal warning."

Councillor Brian Fallon said that officers were urging licensees not to be complacent and were asking them to ensure that staff are properly trained and aware of the law.

"As Edinburgh's population doubles during the festival period and the number of temporary licences rises, our officers are being extra vigilant to ensure all customers can be sure of getting a fair pint," he said.

Mike Drewry, director of Environmental and Consumer Services, added his voice to the calls for extra vigilance. He said: "This year we don't want to hear any of the excuses at all, we just want the public to get what they are paying for: correct measures, correct quality and correct price."

But some licensees in the city blame temporary licence holders for serving short measures. Licensee of Kays bar, Fraser Gillespie, told thePublican.com: "Trading standards did exactly the same last year and they found that 99 per cent of problems were from those who held temporary licences.

He believed the council would be solely looking at those licensees who hold temporary licences.

Meanwhile, Six Continents (formerly Bass Leisure Retail) has been fined £1,000 for serving short spirit measures at last year's festival. Two samples of McCallum whisky were found to be short of the 25ml by eight and nine per cent.

The company said that it was doing everything possible to ensure that the incident would not be repeated. "We train our staff, we put posters up in the bars and we support the BLRA Code of Practice," a spokesman said. "We also have a team of assessors who visit our pubs all over the country to check if we are serving the right measures."

Related topics: Legislation

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