Town pub slapped with zero food-hygiene rating after slug found on raw chicken

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Different problems: inspectors found a slew of hygiene issues when they visited Ye Olde Starre Inn (image credit: Nick Macneill)
Different problems: inspectors found a slew of hygiene issues when they visited Ye Olde Starre Inn (image credit: Nick Macneill)
A Dorset pub has received the lowest food-hygiene rating available after a food safety inspection found a slug on a packet of raw chicken among a slew of other hygiene issues.

Inspectors from Christchurch and East Dorset Councils visited Ye Olde Starre Inne, Purewell in Christchurch on 26 January this year.

The inspector’s report of the pub, which highlighted the pub needed "urgent improvement", noted there was food waste left in the kitchen bin overnight, food that was 12 months past its use-by-date in the fridge, dirty cloths left on the sink and mouldy washing up also in the sink.

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It also said staff were spotted handling raw chicken and not washing their hands and it identified that the pub had a high potential of contamination by E. coli.

At a revisit three days later, the officer still found food in the fridge, which needed to be disposed of, including a “semi-frozen slug on top of a packet of raw chicken”; a plastic bag of mushrooms that were so decomposed, they had liquefied; red Leicester cheese with a use-by date of 16 January 2017; and various other foods that were past their use-by dates.

The Morning Advertiser ​contacted the pub but had not received a response at time of publication. However, the Bournemouth Echo ​reported that licensee Chloe Frost, said the establishment was undergoing a refurbishment at the time of the visit and renovations are still ongoing.

Up to date

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She added: “All our records and the management side is up to date now. All of our meat is fresh produce and vegetables are cooked and prepared on the day.

“The out-of-date food that was found was never served to any customers. We used to use the kitchen for our personal cooking, but nothing out-of-date was served to customers.

“We don’t do food every day so it is difficult at times to do the records. The raw chicken was in the bin and not on the kitchen side or ever used.”

A follow up inspection has been planned and a number of revisits, since the initial inspection have also been carried out.

Christchurch and East Dorset Councils public health and protection manager Sean Whitney said an officer visited the pub on 26 January this year.

Food safety concerns

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He added: “The inspection highlighted a number of significant food-safety concerns and consequently the officer took immediate action to address these concerns and to protect public health.

“The officer ensured all immediate risks were removed from the premises. All out-of-date food was disposed of and destroyed and advice on effective cleaning was given to staff.

“The officer also provided guidance on best practice to avoid cross-contamination, which was fully explained and subsequently implemented by the staff.

“The premises was not formally closed at any time, however visits have been regularly carried out to ensure Ye Olde Starre Inn fully complies with good food-hygiene standards.

“A further follow up inspection has also been arranged. It is always disappointing to identify any food business with unacceptable food-hygiene standards but, fortunately, these are rare and our actions will always put the protection of the public first and foremost.

“The food-hygiene rating system introduced by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) several years ago gives the public information as to the food-hygiene standards within any business serving food directly to the public.

“Within the Christchurch and East Dorset Councils Partnership area, more than 97% of all rated food businesses have achieved a rating of three or above, indicating satisfactory food-hygiene standards and more than 75% have achieved the highest rating of five, indicating very good food-hygiene standards.

“I recommend that anyone intending to eat out, checks the available food-hygiene rating information before deciding where to eat.

“This information is published on the FSA website or on a number of commercial apps.”

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