Publican fined £12k after pleading guilty to rat infestation

By Alice Leader contact

- Last updated on GMT

Unacceptable standards: pub licensee pleads guilty to 12 offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations
Unacceptable standards: pub licensee pleads guilty to 12 offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations

Related tags: Hygiene, Pub

A publican and his pub company have been fined £12,000 after his site showed no signs of improving its standards since a rodent infestation was first reported.

Health protection officers from Chichester District Council first visited the White Horse pub, Rogate, West Sussex, on 25 May 2018 in response to a reported sighting of rats on the premises.

In the following months, further visits were made to ensure that the standards of hygiene at the premises improved, but after eight visits, the standards were still not acceptable.

Councillor Penny Plant who is also cabinet member for environment and Chichester contract services said: “Food safety is really important to us. We offer support to help businesses make improvements but when there are serious risks to health, it is in the interest of residents and other businesses that we take legal action.”

Pleading guilty

Andrew Standen and his company Standen Leisure Holdings Limited's failure to comply with three food hygiene improvement notices resulted in Chichester District Council deciding to take the White Horse pub and Standen to court.

As a result, Standen and his company were fined a total of £12,000 and also ordered to pay £11,095 costs after pleading guilty to a total of 12 offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

Plant continued: “This case sends a strong message to all food operators that we will take legal action if food safety standards are found to be unacceptable.”

The offences took place between 29 June 2018 and 7 January 2019.

Check your rating

Plant said: "Our Health Protection team works hard to monitor and improve food safety across the Chichester District.

“In the past year, the team has visited 800 of the district’s 1,500 food businesses to assess food hygiene standards.

“The vast majority of food businesses in the Chichester district operate to a very high standard and have a top food hygiene rating of five.

“Customers are encouraged to check a business’s hygiene rating by visiting ratings.food.gov.uk.”

Standen and his company are no longer involved with the White Horse pub in Rogate.

Related topics: Health & safety

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