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Out of date meat and dirty ice machine found at pub

A Cheshire pub received one of the lowest food hygiene scores after inspectors found mould in the ice machine and out-of-date frozen food.

The Food Standards Agency inspected the Harp Inn in Little Neston on February 4, and a recently-published report gave a rating of one, which means “major improvement necessary,” reports Cheshire Live.

The inspector noted that raw chicken kievs with a use-by date of September 17 2021 and raw lamb mince with a use-by date of January 30 2022 were being stored in the freezer. They stated in the report that it is “an offence to expose food for sale after the use-by date has expired, even if the food has been frozen.”

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They added: “This may only be permitted if the product with a use by date has been frozen and is then intended for use as an ingredient in another product/dish. In these circumstances you must ensure that there is some indication on the label from the manufacturer that it is suitable for freezing and that you have in place robust systems to ensure food safety for the process of extending the shelf life in your documented food safety management system.”

Of the mould in the ice machine, they said: “The ice-making machine was dirty/mouldy and presented a risk of contamination to the ice. It must be switched off, emptied then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, paying particular attention to the door seals to avoid the risk of contamination.”



The mouldy/dirty ice machine at the Harp Inn

The report confirmed that the machine was switched off and empty at the time of the inspection. Concerns were also raised about the lid of the freezer in the outside storeroom, which was judged to be “in poor condition.”

The inspector also noted issues around “pest proofing.” These included gaps in the eaves of the outside storeroom and a gap at the base of the cellar door.

They added: “Any gaps in the structure must be filled or covered with a solid, durable material in order to minimise pest entry points into food preparation and storage areas.”

While the “management of food safety” area of the inspection was labelled as needing major improvements, the pub was judged “generally satisfactory” in hygienic food handling and “good” in the cleanliness and condition of the building.

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