Food safety

Barbecue pub slams “nanny state” after zero food hygiene rating

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Traditional methods: White Hart boss says knowledge doesn't comply with "nanny state"
Traditional methods: White Hart boss says knowledge doesn't comply with "nanny state"

Related tags: Food standards agency

A Surrey pub has spoken out against the “modern nanny state” after receiving a zero food hygiene rating.

The White Hart, Witley, was slapped with the rating but had made all changes necessary since the Food Standards Agency’s last inspection, according to Sam Daffin, the pub's director.

He told Get Surrey​: “We cook on custom-built, fire pit smokers and following the true traditions of low and slow barbecue, we smoke our meats for up to 15 hours.

“As any barbecue expert will tell you, truly great smoked meats are ‘only done when they’re done’.”

‘Years of tradition’

He added: “Unfortunately, 400 years of tradition and my own 10 years spent studying, learning and practising the art of real smoked barbecue food doesn’t always comply with our modern nanny state’s requirements for sterile and salubrious certification.

“The law requires us to have a time and temperature signature to prove it next to everything we do rather than allowing us to rely upon our intuitions, intelligence and experience and on this occasion we did not meet those standards.”

Rating horror

Earlier this year, Wiltshire licensee Chris Kent, of the Who’d A Thought It pub in Lockeridge, told TheMorning Advertiser ​of his horror at being slapped with a zero rating for paperwork and structural issues.

Being a small establishment with only two members of staff had made it virtually impossible to keep on top of the paperwork, he said.

Just two days earlier, a Surrey licensee spoke of his "devastation" at being given a one-star rating for serving rare burgers, which have become contentious​ between some operators and food standards authorities.

Don’t make the headlines: read The Morning Advertiser’s feature on food safety failures

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