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Hotel fined £18,000 for food hygiene offences

19 December 2014 by
Hotel fined £18,000 for food hygiene offences

The Royal Court hotel in Coventry has been fined £18,000 and ordered to pay another £7,400 in costs after pleading guilty to six food hygiene offences.

Magistrates heard Britannia Hotels, which owns the hotel on Tamworth Road, had failed to maintain an adequate food safety management system.

Britannia claimed that it had carried out its own inspection a month earlier, but despite that, food safety inspectors from Coventry Council found a catalogue of poor hygiene during a routine inspection in November 2013.

The inspectors discovered problems in two kitchens, both the events kitchen and the main kitchen

Among problems they found in the events kitchen were: a dishwasher was in a poor condition, repaired with cling film and sticky tape; a dirty sink and a piece of tin foil was being used as a plug; dirty dishes from room service and dirty glasses from the bars from the previous evening left in the kitchen and not washed up; jugs of sour milk and cream and dried-up sauce were found in the walk-in chiller.

Meanwhile, in the main kitchen, problems included: a build-up of grease and food debris beneath and behind floor standing equipment, and around pipework; the cupboards in the dried goods store were in poor condition with the wood beginning to rot, and inside the cupboards there was mould on the walls at the back; fridge/freezer door seals were damaged and mouldy; the food display area in the restaurant was not being kept clean.

On top of the issues with the kitchens, officers found staff toilets were dirty and damaged and staff were using public toilets instead.

They also discovered a large locked oil container in the yard was caked on the outside with grease and an open blue bin containing waste oil did not have a lid. Both issues could attract rodents.

Cllr Patricia Hetherton, Chair of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, said: "The catalogue of food hygiene issues found in our routine inspection will absolutely horrify visitors to the hotel who should quite rightly expect they are being entertained in a clean and safe environment. The council is determined to ensure places are as hygienic as they should be and we will take action when we find they are not."

Hamish Simmonds, head of regulatory services, added: "A major catering establishment such as the Royal Court hotel is expected to have its own management systems in place to ensure food safety standards are met. Britannia Hotels carried out their own audit inspection a month before our visit. They found the same conditions but nothing had changed until our officers became involved."

Britannia Hotels was not available to comment.

The case was heard at the Nuneaton Justice Centre on Tuesday 16 December.

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