The council’s environmental health team visited the Greene King-owned Tredegar Arms on Caerphilly Road in Newport following a complaint by a member of the public. The officers found a number of food hygiene failings on two visits on 17 and 20 July 2017.
Greene King pleaded guilty to seven charges of failing to keep food premises and equipment clean and, where necessary, disinfected, and failure to implement and maintain food safety procedures, at Newport Magistrates’ Court on 9 November 2018.
The £152,000 fine was in addition to a £170 victim surcharge and Newport City Council’s costs of £13,730.79, making the total amount Greene King had to pay £165,900.79.
The court heard when officers visited the pub, they found poor standards of cleaning including dirty fridges, ovens and chopping boards.
They also found out-of-date food, specifically some from a package of 12kg of sausages that was two weeks past its use-by date as well as chicken defrosting at room temperature.
A follow-up visit three days later found more issues including fridges and freezers not working and part-cooked chicken found at temperatures that would allow bacteria to grow.
In mitigation, Greene King apologised unreservedly and accepted that standards, particularly in the kitchen, were unacceptable.
The court also heard the company had since taken all necessary steps to remedy the situation and now has a food hygiene rating of four stars since addressing the problems found in 2017.
A spokesperson for the Tredegar Arms said: “The rating for which this fine relates to was 18 months ago.
“It occurred during a period of just a few days during a management change-over. Up until this point, the pub held the best possible food hygiene rating.
“We took immediate action at the time to rectify the situation and reinstate our usual high standards. The pub has since had a number of inspections and we are pleased to say it has held a four-star rating for more than a year.”
The Food Standards Agency website confirms the pub has held a four-star food-hygiene rating since October 2017.
Newport City Council cabinet member for licensing and regulation Ray Truman said: “Officers from environmental health were extremely concerned to find a pub operated by such a large company in such a condition, and it was appropriate for the council to take the company to court in order to reinforce the message that food hygiene must be taken seriously.
“The issues found at the pub had the potential to make customers seriously ill. I am grateful to the member of the public who contacted the council with their concerns and for the hard work of officers in bringing this case to court.”