Live rat and droppings land pub with £8k fine

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Hygiene risk: the Watermans Arms was found to have rodents and droppings
Hygiene risk: the Watermans Arms was found to have rodents and droppings

Related tags: Food safety

Two licensees have been ordered to pay more than £10,000 in fines and costs after rat droppings and a live rat were found in the pub.

Hannah Clode and Robert Morgan, licensees of the Watermans Arms in Pembroke, each admitted six food hygiene offences.

A court in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, heard that officers from Pembroke County Council's public protection division visited the pub in March and found unclean structures and equipment, rodent droppings and a live rat.

As well as revealing the lack of an adequate food safety management system officers found evidence of food not being protected against contamination.

Officers found cooked ham sitting in a pool of blood, and said there was a lack of training, instruction and supervision of staff.

The business agreed to voluntarily close until immediate cleaning had been carried out and pest control measures put in place.

Expressed remorse

Clode and Morgan expressed remorse at the hearing. Clode said the pair had “naively” put their full trust in the head chef.

The pub now holds a top hygiene rating of five stars.

Both were fined £4,000 each and ordered to pay £2,020.49 costs to the council, which brought the case, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.

“The level of fine demonstrates the serious nature of the breaches and spells out a clear message to all businesses to manage food safety effectively,” said county council cabinet member for housing and regulatory services Pat Davies.

“This includes issues relating to pest control and taking action in their premises to prevent the risk of cross contamination of foods with harmful food poisoning bacteria, through a documented system.

'Food handling and preparation'

“This system must be communicated, understood and implemented by all staff involved in food handling and preparation.”

Councillor Davies said that the pub fully co-operated with the council in dealing promptly with the highlighted risks.

“I am also pleased to report that at the most recent inspection of the Watermans Arms since this incident, standards have improved and been maintained,” she said.

“The premises has now been awarded a Food Standards Agency hygiene rating of five stars out of a possible five, which is ‘very good’ under the scheme.”

The Morning Advertiser​ tried to contact the licensees but both were unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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