Portchester pub fined £14,000 for its filthy kitchen

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A PUB that had grease congealed on its grill, blood in its fridge and salmon so far out of date it resembled bacon has been ordered to pay nearly £14,000 by magistrates.

The directors of Windjammer Inns, which runs the Cormorant pub, in Portchester, appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court charged with five offences under Food Hygiene Regulations.

The Cormorant in Castle Street, Portchester

The Cormorant in Castle Street, Portchester

Landlord and landlady Michael and Carol Frewing, who live at the pub, were prosecuted by Fareham Borough Council after a routine food inspection on January 16 found the kitchen was filthy.

Officers found food stored incorrectly, food out of date, some by more than a month, and staff handling food in an unhygienic manner. A packet of salmon was found with a use-by date of November 18, and was so out of date it resembled bacon.

Windjammer Inns admitted the charges, and said it had left the running of the kitchen to their chef, who had worked for the firm for six years.

Defending Jon Payne said Mrs Frewing had admitted ‘this was a mistake’ and that the chef was undergoing disciplinary procedures. No problems had been found by the council up to that check.

Following the inspection, Mrs Frewing drafted in a team to clean the pub thoroughly, retrained the staff and cleanliness has improved.

Magistrates fined the company £12,000 and ordered costs of £1,794.92 and a victim surcharge of £120.

The company will have to pay a total of £13,914.92.

Magistrates’ chairman Gordon Burlinson said: ‘It is the directors who are ultimately responsible for the outcome, the management, the rules and the function of the unit. This has been a shocking and appalling situation where standards have been allowed to slip.’

After the case, Mr Payne made a statement on behalf of the Frewings. He said: ‘Mr and Mrs Frewing are clearly disappointed with the level of fine given the extensive effort they did to put things right. The premises are now up to a good standard and anybody wishing to dine in the pub is more than welcome to check the kitchen for themselves.’

Member for public protection, Cllr Trevor Cartwright said: ‘This is a very busy restaurant and they exposed their customers to a serious risk of illness.’