Hull City Council inspectors were tipped off by an anonymous source about the state of the toilets at the Albert Hotel in Kingston-upon-Hull and, when they arrived at the pub, discovered a slew of hygiene violations.
They found mouldy food, including one stew that had been left out so long it was totally covered in “furry” mould, products well past their expiry dates and abandoned ‘leftovers’ on work surfaces and equipment.
Staff at the pub reportedly claimed that no food was prepared or served to customers that used the pub.
However Paul Turner, principal environmental health officer, said: “There was significant evidence that this was not the case.
“In the cellar, there was thick mould growth inside the ice making machine and the door seals were mouldy and toilet facilities for both customers and staff were very dirty.
“Cigarette butts were found all over the cellar floor and in the kitchen, indicating that smoking had been taking place in the cellar and kitchen – smoking on a premises like this is illegal.”
Food waste and refuse had also been allowed to pile up on the floor, potentially attracting a range of pests.
The toilets were also found to be in a poor state, with dirty fixtures, several doors missing locks and extractor fans not working.
The pub was slapped with a zero food-hygiene rating and told to cease all food preparation and cooking until serious improvements had been made.
Turner said: “This is an example of what can lurk behind the kitchen door and this is exactly why the ratings system in in place and why we carry out inspections.
“This case is a window on to the kitchen for the public and it is what a zero rating really looks like. It was brought to our attention by a customer who was appalled by the state of some of the public areas.”
Earlier this week a Cheshire pub was slapped with a £6,000 fine after health inspectors found a number of violations.
The Local Government Association (LGA) earlier this month called for legislation forcing any business in England that serves food to display its food-hygiene rating on the door – to do so is already mandatory in Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it supported making the display of food-hygiene ratings compulsory as it believed businesses that achieved higher ratings would get the recognition they deserved and it would inspire other businesses to make the grade.