'Mouldy' food and pests land pub with one-star hygiene rating

By Daniel Woolfson

- Last updated on GMT

Food hygiene: a spokesperson for the Spread Eagle claimed all legal requirements had been addressed (Photo via Google Maps)
Food hygiene: a spokesperson for the Spread Eagle claimed all legal requirements had been addressed (Photo via Google Maps)

Related tags: Royal tunbridge wells

A Kent pub was slapped with a one-star food-hygiene rating after environmental health inspectors uncovered a slew of food-hygiene offences. 

Inspectors visiting the Spread Eagle, in Hawkenbury, Tunbridge Wells, found mouldy baguettes had been left behind chest freezers, cooked bacon was being stored at a higher temperature than recommended and the pub’s external storage shed had not been properly pest-proofed as there was evidence of pest activity. 

The report stated the pub’s meat refrigerator, housed in the external shed, was dirty, chopping boards were too scored to be effectively cleaned and sealant had built up on the floor of the kitchen, preventing effective cleaning.

A spokesperson for the pub told The Morning Advertiser ​(MA​) all legal requirements made by inspectors had been addressed ahead of re-inspection later this month.

National standard

Cllr Dr Ronen Basu, cabinet member with responsibility for sustainability, said: “The food-hygiene rating is a way of letting customers know the rating the premises has been given by a qualified food-safety officer, assessed against the national standard.

“The scheme encourages high standards. I am delighted that 98% of food businesses in the borough achieve a three or above rating… I know that the council’s food team is always happy to work with businesses that want to improve their rating.”

Worst areas for hygiene

Four London boroughs were named and shamed​ for having some of the worst pub food-hygiene standards in the country earlier this year.

Newham, Havering, Islington and Westminster were all ranked among the top-10 worst councils for pub food hygiene.

Hospitality sector specialists NFU Mutual warned customers “would leave in droves”​ over food-hygiene ratings, following a survey which revealed nearly half of all diners (44%) wouldn’t go near a pub or restaurant that achieved a three-star rating or lower.

Pubs didn’t fare well with younger customers in the survey, whose perception of hygiene standards in the licensed trade were considerably lower than that of older generations – only 24% of respondents aged 18-24 thought pub hygiene standards were generally good, compared to more than 50% of 45-54 year-olds. 

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