Firm behind Telford hotel fined for hygiene flaws after mouldy food found

A company which owns and runs a hotel in Telford has been fined £12,000 for food hygiene offences.

Mouldy food, inset, was found at the Mercure Telford Madeley Court hotel
Mouldy food, inset, was found at the Mercure Telford Madeley Court hotel

It comes after an inspection was carried out at Mercure Telford Madeley Court in February 2019.

Inspectors found dirty and damaged surfaces, walls, floors and equipment.

There was also out of date and mouldy food, no antibacterial spray, soap or means of hand drying at wash basins.

The inspection revealed staff were inadequately trained and supervised and there was no checking of safe food temperature or procedure to protect against cross contamination of allergens.

Insectors found out of date and mouldy food

THG No 3 Ltd based in Honiley, Warwick, and its operations director Ravi Kathuria pleaded guilty to six charges under the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013 at an appearance before magistrates in September last year.

In February 2018, a food hygiene inspection at the same hotel found a number of similar offences for which THG No 3 Ltd was prosecuted and fined £20,000.

There were still failings at further inspections in February and July 2019.

Its rating from the July inspection was two, meaning 'improvement necessary'.

Sentencing the company and its director for the new offences on Wednesday at Shropshire Magistrates Court, sitting in Telford, District Judge Kevin Graco said: “I ask myself, who in reality would choose to eat at such a venue of the state of filth in the kitchen area?"

Photographs shown to the court demonstrated that conditions were similar to 2018.

THG No.3 was fined £12,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,447.71.

Mr Kathuria was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2,447.71.

Mr Graco said that in light of the pandemic any fine would be a massive burden on the company and he did not wish to put it out of business

Speaking after the hearing, Councillor Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s cabinet member for enforcement, said: “This second prosecution against the same company for a repeat of similar offences shows why the work of our food hygiene inspectors is so important in keeping people safe.

"They make hundreds of visits every year to make sure that the food handled, served and sold at the premises is safe for people to eat.

"Many receive the top score of five but, where there are concerns, we will take the matter to court.”

A spokesman for the hotel said: "The Mercure Madeley Court Hotel accepts the finding of the court and would like to take this opportunity to bring the public up to date with the changes that have taken place since the investigation in February 2019.

"The owners THG no 3 Ltd, inherited ongoing issues when they purchased the property from the Mercure Group so they immediately appointed a management company, Countrywide Hotels, to oversee the hotels and its day to day running.

"Over the past 18 months, refurbishments have been made to the kitchen area, new equipment purchased, the hotel team have been trained in the current health and safety standards, the hotel is Covid-19 compliant and Shield Safety have been appointed as advisors on all health and hygiene matters.

"As a consequence, the hygiene rating has moved from zero to two and the owners THG no 3 Ltd are confident that the next inspection will receive a four rating."

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