Devon pub owner fined thousands after appalled inspectors find mouldy, rotten and contaminated food in kitchen

WARNING: You might not want to read this if you're eating...

A Devon pub owner has been fined thousands after appalled inspectors found mouldy, rotten and contaminated food in its kitchen.

Pictures from inside the White Hart in Cullompton, near the M5, reveal the shocking state of conditions in there.

Inspectors found mouldy roast dinners, dirty crockery, smashed eggs and filthy food containers in the kitchen.

Rotten food was left out in the kitchen, with no efforts made to get rid of it.

Jane Tadman pleaded guilty to six food hygiene offences at Exeter Magistrates Court.

She was fined £3,600 and ordered to pay £3,000 in court charges - with a victim surcharge of £100.

Tadman admitted to committing the following offences:

  • Failing to keep the food premises clean, maintained in good repair and condition by the filthy condition of the kitchen, equipment and utensils.

  • Failing to effectively clean and disinfect articles, fittings and equipment, with which food comes into contact at a frequency sufficient to avoid any risk of contamination by the filthy condition of articles, fittings and equipment.

  • Failing to store raw materials and ingredients in appropriate conditions designed to prevent harmful deterioration and protect them from contamination by deteriorating food stored in the kitchen.

  • Failing to remove food waste from rooms where food is present as quickly as possible. So as to avoid their accumulation with waste food, debris and packaging left out, accumulating on top of and underneath worktops and appliances, and an open and overflowing waste bin.

  • Failing to protect food against any contamination likely to render it unfit for human consumption, injurious to health or contaminated in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be consumed in that state.

  • Failing to put in place, implement and maintain a food safety management system with the absence and false recording of management checks.

Tadman was fined thousands for the levels of filth discovered in the kitchen.

District judge Joanna Matson commented that the kitchen was found "in a filthy condition, with mouldy, rotten and out of date food".

She said that "food taken away for analysis showed E.coli present."

The premises were visited again by council officers and it was found the kitchen had not improved. I have to assess this case using the sentencing guidelines for food hygiene offences.

District judge Joanna Matson
A particularly disturbing find was a mouldy roast dinner.

Local councillor Dennis Knowles, from Mid Devon District Council, said Tadman's prosecution has prevented "members of the public from becoming extremely ill, or worse still losing their lives."

He praised the council's health and legal teams for enforcing the pub's closure.