Pair are fined for ‘extreme’ risks to public health

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“EXTREME” risks to public health have led to the prosecution of two food establishments in Whitby.

Janice Mahnert, who runs the Resolution Hotel and Andrew Nightingale, who leases the kitchen to operate his business 19@The Rez on Skinner Street, have been fined a total of £1,800 after pleading guilty to food hygiene offences.

A Scarborough Borough Council environmental health officer visited the hotel in September 2011 to carry out a routine hygiene inspection, but discovered conditions so bad that Mr Nightingale agreed to close the kitchen voluntarily after being threatened with formal closure.

Steve Pogson, SBC’s health and community safety manager, said: “Only in extreme cases where there is a risk to public health are officers obliged to consider formal closure and this demonstrates how bad standards were found to be at this particular establishment.”

Conditions in the kitchen were considered to be a risk to public health and the council officer advised Mr Nightingale that he would have no option but to close the kitchen immediately.

Mr Nightingale offered to close voluntarily and undertook a thorough clean of the kitchen, which was allowed to reopen after a further inspection revealed standards had improved significantly.

The initial inspection had revealed accumulations of dirt, grease and food debris including seafood on the floor beneath equipment in the kitchen, dirty equipment, dirty walls and a large number of flies in the kitchen.

There was also damaged and dirty fridge door seals, a defective dishwasher, obstructed hand wash basins, overflowing dustbins and damaged floor coverings.

In addition the bin storage area was found to be in a very dirty condition with liquid waste and other waste encrusted on the floor, with a strong smell of rotting, decomposing waste and food, a large number of flies in this area – with no means of controlling them – and grease running down an external window from the extractor flue.

In addition to the fine, Scarborough Magistrates’ Court ordered the pair to pay £150 each towards the council’s prosecution costs and a further £15 each victim surcharge.

Both the Resolution Hotel and 19@The Rez have a rating of 0 – Urgent Improvement Necessary – under the National Food Hygiene Rating System adopted by the council last year.

Ratings for all food establishments in the borough can be accessed at www.food.gov.uk/ratings