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Britannia Hotels hit with £265,000 fine for breaching food safety regulations

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Britannia Hotels hit with £265,000 fine for breaching food safety regulations

The 402-bedroom Adelphi hotel has been described as “an embarrassment” to Liverpool and “would make Fawlty Towers look like a five-star hotel” after its owner Britannia Hotels was fined more than £265,000 for seven breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations.

Appearing at Liverpool Magistrates Court, Britannia pleaded guilty to the charges relating to three food hygiene inspections during which live cockroaches and mice and rat droppings were found. The company was fined £232,500 and made to pay costs of £34,831.

The court was told that the unannounced inspections were made by Liverpool City Council’s environmental health officers (EHOs) on 29 September 2015, 18 March 2016 and 7 September 2016.

Live cockroaches were found underneath the hot cabinet/servery in the area known as Jenny’s kitchen, during the first visit. Conditions, which were described as “unclean with a build-up of food debris and grease” were said to pose “a serious risk of contamination”. The hotel agreed to close the kitchen and carry out improvements before reopening six days later.

During the second visit, EHOs found mice and rat droppings in the main kitchen, storage rooms, cutlery room, in the self-service hot display servery in Jenny’s restaurant and under customer seating. There were gaps and holes in the wall, floor and ceiling which allowed vermin to enter the building. Once again the conditions posed a serious risk of contamination.

The hotel agreed to close all affected areas, but when inspectors returned four days later they found further rodent droppings in the main kitchen. Work was eventually carried out and the hotel was allowed to reopen its kitchen on 1 April.

EHOs visited the Adelphi in September 2016 and found live cockroaches near the dishwasher in Jenny’s kitchen. The area was said to be “unclean resulting in a build-up of food debris and grease which provided a food source for pests”. As a result of the “serious risk of contamination”, Jenny’s kitchen was closed for four days to allow for a further clean-up.

Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said: “The Adelphi is an embarrassment to the city and it’s really sad that the owners have allowed what was once a great establishment go to wrack and ruin. The way the Adelphi is run at the moment would make Fawlty Towers look like a five-star hotel.

He added that the case was “a shocking example of a prominent Liverpool business continually breaching food safety standards” which put the health of guests at risk.

“It seems like they had a blatant disregard for hygiene standards, despite the efforts of our environmental health officers who continually worked with them giving them advice and trying to make sure they reached at least satisfactory standards.

“The level of the fine for the owner reflects the seriousness of the charge and I hope this will ensure that from now on their food hygiene standards are the highest possible.”

The Adelphi hotel currently holds a two rating following the most recent inspection by the council in March 2017.

Located within a Grade II-listed property built between 1911 and 1914, the Adelphi hotel was once one of the flagship properties within British Transport Hotels (BTH). The decision in 1982 for British Rail to sell its hotel division (BTH) resulted in the Adelphi being acquired in 1982 by Britannia Hotels, a company that had been founded six years earlier by Alex Langsam.

Today the group owns 54 hotels and has an annual turnover of £84m.

Britannia Hotels said that it acknowledged the court’s decision and is “confident that it has addressed all issues”.

Britannia Hotels said that it acknowledged the court’s decision and was “confident that it had addressed all issues!”

Britannia Hotels admits food safety offences at the Adelphi >>

Liverpool council mulls compulsory purchase of Britannia’s Adelphi hotel >>

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