Hotel owner fined £7,000 for storing out of date meat in shed

A pub owner has been fined £7,000 after storing raw and frozen meat past its sell by date and dusty catering equipment in a shed.

Environmental health officers found mouldy beef fat, vacuum packs of meat with expired dates, frost burned food, broken containers, dirty surfaces, dust, dirt, cobwebs and ivy in the shed being used by the New Inn Hotel, in Llangynog.

The owner of the former five star venue, David Williams, 59, admitted seven food safety charges at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

Inside the shed where food was found by inspectors

The charges included giving false information, placing unsafe food on the market, including mouldy beef fat and raw meats and five charges of failing to meet food hygiene regulations by failing to protect food from contamination, failing to carry out checks on stock, expiry dates, and monitoring the use of freezers and fridges.

Rob Brown, prosecuting, told the court that an anonymous complaint led to an inspection, and the shed at the back of the pub, which currently has a two star rating, had not been declared for the last five years.

When inspectors asked Williams to open the shed, he said it was locked and his wife had the key.

Inside the shed where food was found by inspectors

But it was found to be open, and officers found ten fridges and freezers, dry goods, cooking utensils and catering equipment.

Mr Brown said: “The shed was in a very poor condition and the environmental health officer could put his hand underneath the door. The fridges were dirty, there was a container of liquid where the seal was broken, there was mould on seals.

“Within the freezers there was food with expired best before dates and vacuum packs of raw meats with expiry dates of May 19. There was frost burned chicken and a mixture of cooked and raw foods, and beef fat with a best before date of January 2018.”

Inside the shed where food was found by inspectors

Mr Brown also said no systems were in place, and the shed was structurally unsuitable for keeping food, and it could not be cleaned or disinfected.

Euros Jones, for Williams, said the business made a profit of £65,000 last year, but this year was trading at a loss, and considerable work is needed to bring it back up to its required standard.

Inside the shed where food was found by inspectors

He added: “A few years ago it had a five star rating but Mr and Mrs Williams separated and Mrs Williams, who used to run the business, left.

"Mr Williams ran it himself but he did not have the know how that she had and this is the outcome.”

Inside the shed where food was found by inspectors

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