Ex-pub company owner fined over filthy food conditions

A former operator of a Staffordshire pub has been handed a court bill of more than £3,000 after inspectors found food unfit for human consumption, dirty storage areas and filthy equipment.

Inspectors found food unfit for human consumption, food stored inappropriately, dirty storage areas and dirty equipment
Inspectors found food unfit for human consumption, food stored inappropriately, dirty storage areas and dirty equipment

Richard Maley, who was a director of The Double R Pub Company Ltd which operated The George and Dragon pub in Alrewas until 2017, was prosecuted by Lichfield District Council following the inspection in February 2016.

Officers found meat pies and tomatoes with extensive mould on the surface together with a baked apple containing a non-food woodworking chisel.

There was an uncovered joint of roast pork stored unrefrigerated on a tray next to tools and paint, tubs of unrefrigerated part-cooked bacon and sausage and a joint of cooked pork stored unrefrigerated underneath an air conditioning unit which was unclean.

What inspector found at The George and Dragon pub

Inspectors also found two uncovered cooked meat pies, a tub of uncovered cooked chicken, ham and leek filling, a covered jug of gravy and a covered jug of diced sausage and bacon stored, unrefrigerated, next to a box of DIY waste on unclean stairs.

The storeroom floor had a build-up of dirt and food debris, there was flaking paint, mould growth and food matter on its walls, plug sockets and doors were heavily soiled with dirt and the kitchen walls and floor were soiled with grease.

Equipment used to store and cook food was found to be dirty. The fridge in the storeroom was not operating and the shelving and base inside was soiled with grease and food debris and was rusty.

Richard Maley was prosecuted by Lichfield District Council

The case against Maley, of Dyke Road, Rugeley, was scheduled to be heard in 2017 but he failed to appear at court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He finally faced charges last month at Newcastle-under-Lyme Magistrates Court, after he was found and arrested in South Wales.

Maley admitted placing food on the market which was unsafe and failing to ensure raw materials and ingredients were kept in appropriate conditions to prevent harmful deterioration and protect them from contamination.

He also admitted failing to ensure the premises was kept clean, well maintained and in good repair and failing to ensure all articles, fittings and equipment with which food came into contact were effectively cleaned and disinfected.

Maley, who has not been involved with the pub since 2017, was fined £1,280 and ordered to pay £1,800 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

Speaking after the case, Councillor Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for regulatory, housing and health, said: “We take this kind of offence very seriously.

“Food business operators who do not maintain safe and hygienic standards must be accountable for their actions.

“The case against Mr Maley should have been heard in 2017 but the defendant did not attend the hearing.

“His food safety offences presented a high risk of harm to the public and although Mr Maley is no longer associated with the premises we were determined to follow through on the enforcement given the seriousness of the offences.

“The current food business operator at the premises, who has been in place since 2018, has a food hygiene rating of five - very good.

“We are pleased that the premises has been well-managed ever since our intervention.”

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