Owners of Village Inn restaurant in West Runton are fined for failing to meet health and safety standards
The owners of West Runton's Village Inn restaurant have been fined after admitting they failed to ensure its facilities met health and safety standards.
Graeme McFarquhar, 38, and Clive Wright, 53, faced a private prosecution brought by North Norfolk District Council at Norwich Magistrates Court last Thursday.
The pair pleaded guilty to six charges of failing to meet food hygiene regulations in an inspection of the Water Lane restaurant on Saturday, June 9 last year.
They admitted that The Safer Food Better Business Pack they were required to abide by had not been fully completed and maintained, that there was no effective cleaning schedule in place, no effective labelling system to identify refrigerated food use-by dates and no effective monitoring procedure in place to identify and deal with hazards.
Cara Jordon, prosecuting, said the inspector found that the kitchen wasn't clean - including a grease build up on the floor - as well as mouldy lemons, fruit flies in the cellar, a fly screen not covering a doorway, a sky-light being open and the chef's tools being too close to a bin.
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Simon Nicholls, in mitigation, said that the charges were 'understandable and proper complaints from North Norfolk District Council' before showing pictures of the restaurant's much improved cleanliness to district judge, Peter Veits.
Mr Nicholls said: 'They let the head chef look after everything but they don't hide behind that because that was their decision and although he is a very good chef, he clearly wasn't very good at keeping his kitchen clean.'
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It was said that the pair had reacted quickly to the inspection and made great efforts to improve the restaurant's cleanliness.
Mr Nicholls also appealed for leniency in any fines, citing the difficult trading conditions rural restaurants are currently having to battle with.
Mr Veits ordered the pair to split the court costs, paying �1,026 each, and fined them both �400 each as well.
He said: 'When people go to a restaurant they have the right to expect the highest standards behind the doors of the kitchen and clearly last June that was not the case.
'Now I can see they are better but it shouldn't have taken a prosecution to wake you up to this, but that is the point of this process.
'I hope that the standards continue to stay as they are and you continue to improve in your business.'