A now-closed Sudbury business has been ordered to pay almost £3,000, after admitting to multiple health and safety failures, which were found during an inspection last year.
The Boathouse Restaurant, which ceased trading earlier this year, appeared for a hearing at Ipswich Magistrates Court last week on four separate charges of contravening or failing to comply with European Union provisions concerning food safety and hygiene.
The charges were brought forward after an inspection of the business was carried out on September 15, 2017, following a complaint about about hygiene standards.
Emma Richbell, Babergh District Council’s food safety officer, told the court that when she visited the Boathouse, she discovered the premises and equipment were dirty and in a state of disrepair, with food at risk of contamination.
The inspection also determined there had been a lack of implementation of a food safety management system, which had been recommended after a previous inspection of the restaurant a year ago revealed hygiene problems.
The court heard the inspectors had been particularly concerned by the failure to properly store potentially allergenic foods safely, such as flour and nuts, which could have resulted in a dangerous allergic reaction occurring in a susceptible individual.
Cllr Christina Campbell, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “This is not the first time that our Food Safety Team found problems at the Boathouse.
“A year ago, we issued a simple caution, but the director did not heed the warning and I’d like to thank our team for their hard work in bringing this lapse to court.
“We will not tolerate low standards that put the public at risk and we can and will prosecute businesses that fail to meet them.”
The inspectors uncovered numerous breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations, including blood spillages in the fridge and food items like steaks and mussels stored past their use-by date, while the unit’s internal surface was iced over and had vegetable leaves frozen solid onto it.
The floor of the storeroom was also found to be dirty and covered in food spillages, and vegetables were being kept on the floor.
In addition, the under-the-counter fridge unit, the floor beneath the cooking range and the probe thermometer were all dirty with food debris.
The fridge unit was also held in place with black tape, and the door even came off in the inspector’s hand.
Following the hearing last Tuesday, the court fined The Boathouse Restaurant Ltd £2,200, plus an extra £600 in costs and another £100 as a victim surcharge.