A judge has fined a national brewer £180,000 after Croydon Council prosecuted one of its pubs for having a dirty kitchen, mouse droppings and poor hygiene practices.
At Croydon Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (7 May), Marston’s plc was fined £180,000, plus ordered to pay more than £5,000 in costs, after it admitted multiple hygiene failings found at Porter and Sorter.
When Croydon Council inspectors visited the pub on 12 February 2018 in Billinton Hill next to East Croydon station, they found:
1. Mouse droppings in the kitchen, including in a roasting tin, among utensils, on a serving plate, on tea towels and next to a washing-up sink
2. All fridges, walk-in chillers and a freezer were dirty
3. Grease build-up on a ventilation fan and on pipework.
Council inspectors also found missing and broken wall tiles, trapped dirt under an area of plastic skirting that had come loose and a broken glass behind the prosecco fridge in the main bar.
The owners immediately closed the kitchen at the council’s request, and the council advised the pub of the action needed to rectify the poor standards found. The kitchen reopened on 16 February 2018.
The national Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations require all businesses serving food to have adequate food safety managements systems, and effective practices and procedures to control vermin. This includes properly cleaning anything that comes into contact with food, as well as maintaining permanent food hygiene procedures. In this case, procedures set by Marston’s had failed to be implemented correctly.
Finding that the offences posed a risk of harm to the public, District Judge Susan Green ordered Marston’s plc to pay a fine of £180,000 plus £5,854.88 costs.
“Anywhere that serves food needs to have good hygiene, and this pub’s customers could have faced a real health risk if council inspectors hadn’t visited.
“This case is shocking because it involves a popular local pub whose owners are major players in the industry and should have known better. The council will continue to protect residents by taking action against businesses that fail to meet the law on food hygiene.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities