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Cheshire restaurant owner ordered to pay over £4,000 for food safety and hygiene offences

The previous owner of a pub in Kelsall has been sentenced for food safety and hygiene offences at Chester Magistrates’ Court.

On Wednesday, 24 May, William Andrew Shaw (57), company director of Oak Cheshire Ltd, trading as The Royal Oak Hotel, Chester Road, Kelsall – was fined a total of £2,460 and ordered to pay £880 costs, a £190 victim surcharge and £500 in compensation to the customer. The defendant pleaded guilty to nine food safety and hygiene offences.

On 17 February 2022, Cheshire West and Chester Council food team officers visited The Royal Oak Hotel to investigate an allegation that a customer had suffered illness after being served a pizza containing gluten instead of the gluten-free pizza they had ordered. Officers also undertook a full food hygiene inspection. 

They discovered that the business had inadequate procedures in place to manage food safety and allergens, plus a lack of food hygiene and allergen training for staff. The premises were found to be dirty, with defective items of equipment (including a mouldy ice maker), risks of cross-contamination and out of date food was found in the fridge.

When interviewed the defendant admitted that they had served a gluten-containing pizza instead of the requested gluten-free pizza and were sorry. He agreed the standard of cleanliness was unacceptable and was working hard to improve standards.

The premises were revisited several times following the initial visit to ensure compliance and were awarded a rating of 5 on the next programmed inspection in January 2023. The business has since changed hands and is now under new management.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes, Planning and Safer Communities, Councillor Christine Warner said: “Officers within our Public Protection Service team work proactively to help business owners comply with legislation and meet hygiene standards and food safety.

“The vast majority of food establishments in Cheshire West operate to a high standard; we have a duty to the public to take effective action where others do not make the same effort.

“In this case officers witnessed poor conditions that posed a risk to the public and the fine imposed sends a clear and strong message that the courts will treat such situations seriously.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council operate a paid for advisory service for all food businesses called the ‘GET5’ scheme.  

Call 01244 973486 for more information or see the: 

Council’s website

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