Pub slammed after North Somerset Council finds ‘rancid and mouldy’ food in fridge before takeover

Star Inn from the main road at Tickenham.

Star Inn from the main road at Tickenham. - Credit: Archant

The new managers of The Star Inn are promising a huge improvement after its previous owner allowed ‘rancid’ food to be kept in its fridge.

The Star Inn received a zero-rating when it was run by Douglas Bonar, but he has since left the pub

The Star Inn received a zero-rating when it was run by Douglas Bonar, but he has since left the pub and its new management team say improvements are being made. - Credit: Archant

Then-proprietor Douglas Bonar was questioned by North Somerset Council following the discovery of 11 mouldy, out-of-date food items which were not fit for human consumption.

A smoking shelter which failed to meet industry standards was also noted, while rice, which was cooked three days before, was found sitting in 16 degrees Celsius heat within the kitchen.

The pub, in Tickenham, has since been bought by Steve King who said he has spent the past month revamping the kitchen and fixing the issues.

In a report which the Times can reveal this week, serious concerns were first raised by the council about the premises on November 1 and it was given a zero-star rating.

It said: “Eleven items of food were found in the walk-in refrigerator that were out of use-by date, or rancid, or mouldy and not suitable for human consumption.”

A closer inspection revealed no over-clothing was worn, no hand dryer was available and no proper recording system of dates food could be served until.

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The council’s inspectors concluded: “Safe food procedure (was) not being implemented.”

The Food Standards Agency said ‘major improvements’ over hygienic food handling were required and ‘urgent improvements’ to food safety checks needed to take place.

It also said the cleanliness of the pub’s kitchen area needed to be better.

In a statement issued by the council last week, it revealed discussions with the pub’s new owners had taken place and The Star Inn’s rating is likely to improve within days.

The council’s spokesman said: “We are working with the new business operator to provide a documented food safety system and an improved hygiene rating within the next 10 days.”

Mr King admitted the previous management had been poor with regards food hygiene and says the issues have been addressed.

He said: “I personally just took over the pub at the start of February and since then we have been in contact with the hygiene team. We are revamping the kitchen and that is already in progress.”

Mr King said new staff, practices and equipment are being brought in to make sure the pub never plumbs to the depths it did under the previous owner.

He said: “It was bad, but that’s down to the previous owner.”

Four other premises in North Somerset received a zero-star rating last year, but they are in Weston-super-Mare.

* For a full list of premises which were given five stars out of five last year, see today’s North Somerset Times.