Marston’s pub “attempted to block FOI request” for food-hygiene report

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

The Rose & Crown (Picture from Google Streetview)
The Rose & Crown (Picture from Google Streetview)

Related tags: Customer, Customer service

A Derby pub has tried to prevent a damning food hygiene report from being released under the Freedom of Information Act.

Environmental health officers (EHOs) slapped a one-star rating on the Rose and Crown – a Marston’s franchise pub in Chellaston – in April, having discovered a range of offences, including expired pies and pulled pork. It was the second time in 2016 the pub has received the rating.

Derby City Council confirmed to the Publican’s Morning Advertiser (PMA)​ a member of staff at the pub had written a letter attempting to persuade the council not to release the report under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

But the council refused, stating that releasing the report was firmly in the public interest.

A spokesperson for the council said: “I have considered the justification put forward by the business; all the arguments are centred around the negative impact that the release of this information would have on trade.

Detrimental

“The detrimental effect, however, would be the result of an informed decision made by the potential customer.”

The decision would not result in giving other businesses an unfair advantage or contribute disclosure of a trade secret, the spokesperson said, adding that to prevent disclosure would only put the private business in a more favourable position.

Inspectors first visited the pub in January this year, returning in April after a revisit was requested. However, the council said the steps it had requested the pub take to improve its rating had not been taken.

As well as expired items, inspectors said areas of the premises were in a dirty condition and there was evidence that stock rotation checks had either not been carried out, or not been carried out accurately.

Potential injury

The guard covering the fans in the ceiling of the pub’s walk-in freezer had fallen off, which the report said left staff exposed to potential injury when placing or removing stock from the top shelf.

The Rose & Crown has a three-and-a-half star rating on TripAdvisor, with one customer, Mabesbabes234, saying: “Well after visiting the pub earlier today here’s a small list of the issues me and my friend had; hair in our food, unhygienic toilets that clearly hadn’t been cleaned for a while, disgusting customer service as the staff shouted at customers as they walked out.”

A spokesperson for Marston’s told the PMA ​the company had liaised with the EHO following the report and was not satisfied with the result.

The spokesperson said: "[Marstons] will work continuously to improve our standards to meet those expected by our customers.

“Due to the nature of timing for re-inspection, it will take a while for this to be re-scored. However, we would like our customers to know that all of the areas highlighted by the EHO have been thoroughly investigated and rectified.”

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