‘Rat-infested’ kitchen forces pub to shut

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Pest issue: environmental health officers found rat droppings behind the ice machine in the food storage area
Pest issue: environmental health officers found rat droppings behind the ice machine in the food storage area
A Southampton pub has closed following an inspection from environmental health officers (EHO) who claimed the kitchen was infested with rats.

The Old Farmhouse was visited by inspectors from Southampton City Council in February and was also slapped with a zero food-hygiene rating after a slew of food hygiene offences were discovered.

According to the Food Standards agency website, the pub was deemed to need major improvement in its hygienic food handling, the cleanliness and condition of facilities and the building as well as the pub’s management food safety.

Rat droppings

National food hygiene rating scheme:

5 – Very good

4 – Good

3 – Generally satisfactory

2 – Improvement necessary

1 – Major improvement necessary

0 – Urgent improvement necessary

The report, from environmental health officer Nicholas Cox, which was seen by The Morning Advertiser​, stated rat droppings were found behind the ice machine in the food storage area during the inspection.

It also claimed “the building was not structurally sound to prevent the ingress of rodents”. It called for any gaps, holes to external doors, windows, pipes and drains must be filled or covered with durable material in order to minimise pest entry points into food preparation and storage areas.

During the inspection, officers also found there was no hot water supply to the pub.

Effective measures

The report also claimed the pub had not identified all steps in the activities of the food business, which are critical to food safety and had not put into place effective measures to control and monitor these steps.

A spokesperson for Ei Group said: “At the time of inspection, the pub was being operated by a separate management company and we will be addressing the matter with them.”

The leasehold pub is listed on the Savills​ website for £395,000, with a rateable value of £11,500.

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