Devon pub owners fined for health and safety after guests fall ill

Customers complain of food poisoning after wedding reception

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A couple who own a pub in Devon have been fined nearly £10,000 after wedding guests complained of food poisoning after a reception.

Environmental health inspectors were called to The Globe Inn at Frogmore, Kingsbridge, following the party last year.

Hygiene conditions in the pub were found to be so poor they had the potential to make guests unwell, with unclean food and cloths used in the kitchen.

Magistrates heard the conditions did not relate directly to the food poisoning outbreak, but the owners were charged with three offences under hygiene regulations.

John Horsley, 64, and his wife Lynda, 63, admitted the offences, which related to failing to keep the premises clean, placing unsafe food on the market and failing to have a food safety management system in place.



They were each fined a total of £4,000 at Torquay Magistrates Court and ordered to pay £1,798 in costs - the biggest fine for a food safety case brought by South Hams District Council.

Fleur Barr, environmental health officer for the council, said: "Our approach to enforcing food law is normally to provide advice and guidance in the first instance to give businesses an opportunity to meet the standards expected.

"In this case, the proprietors were already aware of their obligations and when the premises were inspected, they had failed to meet them on that occasion. We do not take prosecution lightly."

Graham Gover, prosecuting for the council, told the court that improvements were required following a previous environmental health inspection in December 2011.

These included cleaning and food management systems, which were initially improved but then "slipped back" by the wedding reception and subsequent inspection in October 2013.

Ashleigh Harold, representing the couple, said her clients were devastated and deeply affected by the event and strived to do the best they could.





She said the Horsleys notified the council the next available day after receiving complaints and have made a number of improvements since.

Deep cleaning has now been undertaken and is done on a routine basis, with food areas redesigned, staff retrained and better food safety management systems in place.

Following the hearing, Simon Wright, South Hams District Council's executive member with responsibility for environmental health, said: "We are always happy to work with businesses to ensure that public health is protected.

"However, where conditions are consistently poor then we will take any necessary action to protect the public."

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