An ex-pub landlord who cooked mouldy meat pies and left food out of the fridge in a dirty kitchen has been handed a hefty court bill topping £3,000. Punters at the Lichfield pub were put at ‘high risk of harm’ when ex-boss Richard Maley was in charge of the George and Dragon.
Food ‘unfit for human consumption’ was cooked in the pub kitchen, with dishes exposed to contamination and left mouldy. Small cooked meat pies were abandoned on an unclean storeroom floor at the ‘heavily soiled’ site.
Uncovered joints of meat – which should have been stored in the fridge – were left next to tools and paint, as well as under a dirty air conditioning unit. Tubs of food were also discarded next to a bottle of odour neutraliser, while uncovered pie filling was stored next to a box of DIY waste on filthy stairs.
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Food inspectors also discovered flaking paint and mould growing in a storeroom, while there were used cooking equipment which was solied with food debris, StaffordshireLive reports. Maley, 50, admitted four charges of failing to comply with Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations in relation to the pub in Alrewas, Lichfield.
The former pub boss, of Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan, was director of the Double R Pub Co Ltd – the pub company running the Main Street pub and restaurant at the time. He was taken to court by Lichfield District Council.
The offences happened in 2016 and the case has only just come to court due to a delays. Maley is no longer associated with the restaurant, which now has a five-star hygiene rating and has been hailed as ‘well run’ by council bosses.
The defendant was due to attend North Staffordshire Justice Centre in 2017 but failed to turn up. He admitted a charge of placing on the market food which was unsafe either because it was “injurious to health” or unfit for human consumption.
Referenced by the council were a baked apple containing a used non-food-safe wood working chisel and a cooked home-made meat pie exposed to contamination and showing extensive mould growth on the surface. Small cooked meat pies were exposed to contamination and showing extensive mould growth on the surface.
A container of cooked tomatoes was exposed to contamination, showing extensive mould growth on the surface, the court was told. In a second charge, Maley admitted failing to ensure raw materials and ingredients were kept in appropriate conditions to prevent harmful deterioration and protect them from contamination.
In particular, there was an uncovered joint of roast pork stored unrefrigerated on a tray stored next to tools and paint. There were also tubs of food – including part-cooked bacon, part-cooked sausages and cooked tomatoes – stored unrefrigerated and next to a bottle labelled ‘cleanPro +’, which is an odour neutraliser.
There was a part-covered joint of cooked pork stored unrefrigerated underneath a dirty air conditioning unit. There were also small cooked pies, a packet of peas and a portion of fisherman’s pie stored unrefrigerated on an unclean floor in the storeroom, the court heard.
Two uncovered homemade cooked meat pies were found, as were 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 dirty stairs.
The latter were next to an open rear door leading to the beer garden. Maley also pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the premises were kept clean, well maintained and in good repair.
The storeroom floor had a build-up of dirt and food debris on it and the plastered storeroom walls were damaged in places, with flaking paint, mould growth and food debris on them.
The hand contact areas, including plug sockets and door surfaces, were heavily soiled with dirt, the council told the court. The walls in the kitchen behind the frying range were heavily soiled with grease and food debris – and the floor in the kitchen was soiled with grease and food debris, it said.
Another accusation Maley admitted was failing to ensure all articles, fittings and equipment with which food comes into contact were effectively cleaned and disinfected. In particular, the stainless steel gram fridge in the storeroom was not operating and the shelving and base inside was rusty and heavily soiled with grease and food debris.
A freezer needed defrosting and was soiled with dirt and food debris. A disused chest freezer on which a container of baked apples was stored was soiled with non-food debris and the wire shelving racks in the first storeroom were soiled with dirt, the council said.
There were used cooking pots and utensils in the storeroom soiled with food debris and some were mouldy. There were dishes used to cook pies stored in the first storeroom on wire shelving soiled with food debris, the hearing was told.
Two microwaves in the kitchen were soiled with food debris and the inside of the oven in the kitchen was soiled with food debris. The hand towel dispensers in the kitchen were soiled with grease and dirt.
Maley was fined £1,280 and ordered to pay £1,800 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge. 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. 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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