Former pub company owner fined following prosecution for food safety offences

The food operator admitted breaches of food safety regulations.
Environmental Health officers discovered mouldy food on the premises.

A former operator of a pub in the Lichfield district has been fined more than £3,000 after admitting multiple breaches of food safety regulations.

Richard Maley was prosecuted by Lichfield District Council following an inspection of the premises by its officers in February 2016.

They found food unfit for human consumption, food stored inappropriately, dirty storage areas and dirty equipment.

The case against Mr Maley, of Dyke Road Rugeley, was scheduled to be heard in 2017 but he failed to appear at court and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He finally faced charges on 28 April 2022, at Newcastle under Lyme Magistrates Court, after he was found and arrested in South Wales.  

Mr Maley, who was a director of The Double R Pub Company Ltd which operated The George and Dragon pub in Alrewas until 2017, admitted placing food on the market which was unsafe and failing to ensure raw materials and ingredients were kept in appropriate conditions to prevent harmful deterioration and protect them from contamination.

He also admitted failing to ensure the premises was kept clean, well maintained and in good repair and failing to ensure all articles, fittings and equipment with which food came into contact were effectively cleaned and disinfected.

During the inspection officers found meat pies and tomatoes with extensive mould on the surface together with a baked apple containing a non-food woodworking chisel.

There was an uncovered joint of roast pork stored unrefrigerated on a tray next to tools and paint, tubs of unrefrigerated part-cooked bacon and sausage and a joint of cooked pork stored unrefrigerated underneath an air conditioning unit which was unclean.

Inspectors also found two uncovered cooked meat pies, a tub of uncovered cooked chicken, ham and leak filling, a covered jug of gravy and a covered jug of diced sausage and bacon stored, unrefrigerated, next to a box of DIY waste on unclean stairs.

The storeroom floor had a build-up of dirt and food debris, there was flaking paint, mould growth and food matter on its walls, plug sockets and doors were heavily soiled with dirt and the kitchen walls and floor were soiled with grease.

Equipment used to store and cook food was found to be dirty. The fridge in the storeroom was not operating and the shelving and base inside was soiled with grease and food debris and was rusty.

Mr Maley, who has not been involved with the pub since 2017, was fined £1,280, ordered to pay £1,800 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge. The level of fine is understood to reflect Mr Maley’s guilty plea and his means.

Councillor Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Housing and Health, said:

“We take this kind of offence very seriously.

“Food business operators who do not maintain safe and hygienic standards must be accountable for their actions.

“The case against Mr Maley should have been heard in 2017 but the defendant did not attend the hearing.

“His food safety offences presented a high risk of harm to the public and although Mr Maley is no longer associated with the premises we were determined to follow through on the enforcement given the seriousness of the offences.

“The current food business operator at the premises, who has been in place since 2018, has a food hygiene rating of 5 - very good. 

“We are pleased that the premises has been well-managed ever since our intervention.”

Published: 16 May 2022