National pub and restaurant chain Greene King has been fined more than £152,000 for operating with a dirty kitchen and storing out of date food at its premises in Newport.
The prosecution against Greene King Retailing Limited – the £800m division of Greene King responsible for managing public houses and beverage retail – was brought by Newport City Council’s environmental health team who visited the premises following a complaint by a member of the public.
The officer found a number of food hygiene failings on two visits to the company’s Tredegar Arms pub in Caerphilly Road, Newport during the summer of 2017.
Greene King Retailing Limited 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.
The court heard that when environmental health officers visited the premises they found poor standards of cleaning including dirty fridges, ovens and chopping boards. The main image (above) shows the dirty chiller floor.
They also found out of date food, in particular some of a package of 12kg of sausages were over two weeks out of date and there was chicken found defrosting at room temperature.
“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”
A follow-up visit by the officer three days later revealed more problems including fridges and freezers not working and part-cooked chicken found at temperatures that would allow bacteria to grow.
The company pleaded guilty to seven charges and agreed to pay the council’s full legal costs of £13,000.
In mitigation the company apologised unreservedly and accepted that standards – particularly in the kitchen – were unacceptable.
The court heard the company has since taken all necessary steps to remedy the situation and now has a Food Hygiene Rating of four since addressing the problems found in 2017.
Councillor Ray Truman, the council’s cabinet member for licensing and regulation, 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.”