Isleham pub apologises for dirty kitchen

The Griffin, Iselham. Landlords Mr and Mrs Missing have been fined for having food unfit for human c

The Griffin, Iselham. Landlords Mr and Mrs Missing have been fined for having food unfit for human consumption - Credit: Archant

A pub that was fined £5,500 for having a dirty kitchen and mouldy food has apologised to customers saying it came at a time when the manager was seriously ill in hospital.

Finn Blair, chef at The Griffin in Isleham

Finn Blair, chef at The Griffin in Isleham - Credit: Archant

The Griffin in Isleham, now has a 4 star rating compared to a year ago when an inspection was made after manager Michael Missing had been rushed to hospital and kept in for two nights.

Council health inspectors gave Michael and Gina Missing a four star rating this week – one short of the highest – just 10 days after a court fined them £5,500 for having putrefied and mouldy food in their pub in November 2017.

The turnaround rates the couple’s Isleham pub as ‘good’ for food safety and hygiene, ‘good’ for structural compliance but only ‘some’ for confidence in management.

Mr Missing said: “I was out of action for a fortnight before inspectors came. Staff did their best but we would all like to apologise for low standards at that time.

“The inspection couldn’t have come at a worse time.

“I have great respect for my chef. Customers leave glowing reports and are back time and again. Lessons have been learnt.”

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Finn Blair, chef at The Griffin, said: “I want to take the opportunity to alleviate any concerns people may have.

“The negative and embarrassing inspection was not recent at all. We worked hard as a team to rectify the condition of the kitchen immediately, getting it into an immaculate state.

“We received another inspection the following week where we were told everything was fine and in extremely good condition.

“Once this was achieved we sat down and contemplated the procedures that were currently in place and devised new strategies, ensuring such an instance would never occur again.

“We reduced the menu size, making things more manageable, we hired more kitchen staff, meaning we have a team that can cope with the high demand for our food, whilst maintaining a hygienic work environment;

“I was allocated more hours in the week to spend in the kitchen, ensuring appliances, walls and storage areas are deep cleaned regularly.

“Finally, we purchased better quality fly screens, minimising the intrusion of pests (flies).

“We have regular inspections from EcoLab which have shown no evidence of intruders.

“All of these implemented procedures has ensured we work in a hygienic environment, where food is prepared safely.

“As a team we will work tirelessly to maintain our high standards, whilst providing the community with excellent food and customer service.” The inspection of The Griffin last year revealed out-of-date food on the premises including putrefied cucumber in salad and mouldy grated cheese.

There was evidence of limited pest-control and a number of dirty appliances that were unhygienic.

The Missings, who have owned the pub since 2008, pleaded guilty to seven offences before Cambridge magistrates and fined £5,500.

They were previously cautioned in 2013 and attended a half day training course at the council in 2017 to improve their practices and hygiene rating.

Councillor Carol Sennitt, service delivery champion for environmental services, said: “We work very hard with businesses in the area to try to ensure they keep up food safety standards.

“For the protection of the public, we had to take legal action against the establishment in question.”