An environmental health officer visited the Motte and Bailey in Pirton, near Hitchin, on 12 May 2016 and found cooked ham was stored in direct contact with raw steak and the chicken breasts.
According to North Hertfordshire District Council, the officer also found that the internal parts of the fridges had spilt blood, grease and food crumbs and that the food business operator was handling food without wearing protective clothing.
Advice was given by the officers to the licensee but there was little improvement when they returned on 22 November 2016 and more evidence was gathered which resulted in additional offences.
Licensee Andrew Barker was charged with 10 offences including providing unsafe food, failure to keep the premises clean, failure to protect food from contamination and failure to provide an accessible hand wash basin.
No food management system in place
During sentencing at Stevenage Magistrates Court, Barker was ordered to pay a total fine of £5,300 plus £60 towards victim surcharge and £1,682.50 for the council’s costs meaning the total was £7,042.50.
A council spokesperson outlined the issues the pub had and why it was ordered to pay the fine and costs.
They said: “The vast majority of catering premises in north Hertfordshire comply with food hygiene legislation and respond positively to advice they are given.
“This business was found not to have a food-management system in place which is a legal requirement that sets out, among other issues, how cross-contamination of things like raw and cooked meat is avoided.
“This prosecution sends out a clear message to food-business operators – food-hygiene regulations are in place to protect the public and if standards are not maintained there will be serious consequences.”
Significant changes have taken place
At mitigation Barker accepted the issues raised and apologised for the condition the site had fallen into.
He said he wanted to concentrate on the management of the business in order the maintain the food-hygiene rating of three (generally satisfactory) which was awarded on 14 December 2016.
He added that significant changes had taken place and he had reduced the food services and it was noted in court that food-management systems were now in place.
At the time of going to press, the licensee of the Motte and Bailey was unable to comment on the case.