KFC In Pontypool Fined £100,000 For Food Hygiene Offences
Cwmbran Magistrates recently heard a prosecution case against KFC (GB) Ltd, the national chain who operate the restaurant and drive-through at Lower Mill Field, New Inn, Pontypool.
KFC (GB) Ltd pleaded guilty to 3 charges against them and on hearing the supporting evidence from Torfaen council the court fined the company £100,000, awarding the council their full costs of £4318.86 and ordered the company to pay a victim surcharge.
The court heard that on 19May 2015, a senior environmental health officer from Torfaen council visited KFC in Pontypool following a complaint alleging the premises had no hot water and there were numerous cleaning issues.
On inspection, there was no hot water to the wash hand basins in the toilets and the food preparation areas. There was also no hot water to enable cleaning of the premises and food equipment. It was also established that the hot water boiler to the premises had failed for 10 days prior to the visit from environmental health and water for hand washing, cleaning and disinfection of equipment and surfaces was not therefore available. There were also no disinfectants available to ensure food preparation surfaces and equipment was safe to use.
Although the restaurant’s opening and closing inspection records noted that cleaning had been completed satisfactorily, in addition to the issues with the hot water, the premises and equipment were found to be visibly dirty and poorly maintained.
Following discussions with council officers, KFC chose to voluntarily and immediately close the premises until such time the hot water was reinstated and for deep cleaning to take place. The premises re-opened the next day as a supply of hot water to the premise had been provided and standards of food hygiene had improved. Due to the conditions found on the initial visit by officers a food hygiene rating of a 0 or urgent improvement necessary was awarded. In September 2015, the premises were re-inspected and received a food hygiene rating of 4 or good. These scores are also known as ‘the score on the door’.
Torfaen’s executive member for Public Protection, Cllr Gwyneira Clark said: ‘It’s disappointing that KFC could make such basic food hygiene errors and several warnings were issued prior to the officers inspection in May. Hot water is a legal requirement for the effective washing of hands, equipment and surfaces. Without hot water, detergents do not remove grease and dirt effectively, and disinfection processes to remove food poisoning bacteria become less effective. However, we recognise that the restaurant have worked positively with our officers throughout their investigations to ensure high standards can be maintained at all times. New management and improved hygiene procedures has resulted in significant improvement.’
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