Publican is fined over dirty kitchen

PUBLISHED: 16:26 31 May 2007 | UPDATED: 12:32 04 May 2010

Dirty conditions at Wicken’s Maid’s Head pub

Dirty conditions at Wicken's Maid's Head pub

WICKEN publican, Mark Reeve, has been fined almost £10,000 after health officers were appalled by the state of the Maid s Head kitchen. Grease was running down the wall, there were saucepans of mouldy food and dirt was visible in the freezers. One senior

WICKEN publican, Mark Reeve, has been fined almost £10,000 after health officers were appalled by the state of the Maid's Head kitchen.

Grease was running down the wall, there were saucepans of mouldy food and dirt was visible in the freezers.

One senior officer, who attempted to shut down the pub but was overruled by magistrates, said it was one of the worst cases she had seen in her 30-year career.

"It was very poor," said Pamela Pope, East Cambridgeshire District Council senior environmental health officer. "I served an emergency prohibition notice. I have been qualified for 30 years and it is only the second one I have served."

Mr Reeve, who manages the pub, admitted seven breaches of the food safety regulations over a two month period when he appeared before Ely Magistrates.

He was fined £9,900 and ordered to pay costs of £860.

Magistrates heard the pub was graded as Category A under the health and safety regulations, meaning it was poor and subject to six monthly inspections.

When officers visited the pub in February they found dead insects on shelves, fruit and vegetables being stored outside and unwrapped frozen food on the floor of the freezer.

Jars of cooking sauce which had been opened were left on shelves and equipment had not been cleaned.

But, despite warnings to clean up and the offer of a place on a free food hygiene seminar, which Mr Reeve failed to attend, officers found filth and dirt still evident two weeks later.

Ms Pope issued an emergency prohibition notice on Mr Reeve in March ordering the pub to stop serving food.

But when the case went to Cambridge Magistrates Court days later for an order to be made it was dismissed.

Now Mr Reeve has been given one-to-one coaching by a food hygiene consultant and has attended a seminar on safer food.

He faces another health inspection in August and environmental health officers have warned other pub and restaurant owners to see this prosecution as a warning.

"We will do everything in our power to ensure that residents and visitors to the district receive the best service and standards of cleanliness possible and will take action on those who fail to meet the legal standards," said Maggie Camp, East Cambridgeshire District Council's senior legal assistant.

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