Sunday, 26 September 2021

Mouldy food found in pub kitchen

A HENLEY pub received a critical report by a health inspector.

A HENLEY pub received a critical report by a health inspector who discovered mouldy food and chopping boards at the premises.

The official from South Oxfordshire District Council visited the Station House in Market Place on January 14 and found the Brakspear pub had no food safety management system in place.

The inspector’s report, which the Henley Standard obtained with a Freedom of Information request, revealed:

* The kitchen, cellar and store rooms all required a deep clean.

* Mouldy food, including strawberries, mange tout and carrots, was discovered in the kitchen and fridges.

* The pub’s food temperature probe was broken.

* Delivery temperatures for frozen items were recorded at -5 to -6C but these should be below -18C.

The inspector said: “The chopping boards were stored stacked upon each other. They were wet, damaged and mouldy.

“They must be stored in a rack to keep them separate and replaced when needed. There were spoons stored within food items in the fridge. Do not store utensils in foods. Ensure during the cooking process food is not cross-contaminated.”

After discovering the mouldy food, the inspector told the management to review stock rotation procedures, adding: “Ensure all foods in fridges are covered to avoid cross-contamination.”

After finding the broken temperature probe, the inspector said: “You are cooking foods to 75C for 20 seconds. You must ensure this temperature is maintained for at least 30 seconds or use a further time temp combination.”

The inspector also said walls in the kitchen and cellar were in a “poor state of repair” and told the management to carry out a number of other smaller repairs, including to the kitchen sink, the light in the store room and to an electric socket in the  kitchen.

The pub closed unexpectedly in mid-February with landlord Christian Evans saying his departure was for “personal” reasons.

Mr Evans, who worked in hospitality in London for 11 years, wrote on Facebook: “It was a very tough decision to give the keys back in a very professional manner to Brakspear, who were fine to work alongside.

“I am sorry to all in Henley that enjoyed our place but personal matters meant that I could no longer continue. I hope and wish the new tenant all the best. I’m sure it will re-open soon.”

The pub — formerly the Henley Brew House — was bought by Brakspear in October 2014 and renamed to mark the building’s former use as a police station.

Tom Davies, chief executive of Brakspear, confirmed Mr Evans’ statement regarding the temporary closure of the pub.

He said: “The reality is it’s down to Christian because he was unable to run the business as well as dealing with some personal things which I can’t comment on. He gave the keys back to us and closed the pub, which is obviously a great shame.

“We wish him well and we’re now focusing on trying to find someone else. We have two excellent candidates who want to take over the pub, one of whom is local.

“We have got interviews coming up in the next 10 days or so and we very much hope to get the pub open in the next three or four weeks.”

He said the brewery hadn’t seen the report but added: “If there’s some structural defects with the kitchen then, as landlord, it’s our responsibility but most of these things tend to be general practice which a new operator coming on board would deal with.”

A council spokeswoman said: “As with all businesses that score below a certain level, we revisited the Station House to make sure they were taking the right action to get their standards back up to scratch.  

“We also gave them information on how to appeal a rating and how to request a rescore once that action has been taken. The pub closure is unrelated to our inspection.”

The Henley Standard tried to contact Mr Evans via Facebook but did not receive a reply.

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