Spexhall pub had mouldy and unfit food in kitchen

PUBLISHED: 15:38 25 August 2011

Some of the mould covered food found in the kitchen of the Huntsman and Hounds in Spexhall

Some of the mould covered food found in the kitchen of the Huntsman and Hounds in Spexhall


The former landlord of a north Suffolk pub has been banned from working in any food business after he pleaded guilty to a long catalogue of food safety breaches.

Described as one of the worse cases of hygiene failure ever seen by Waveney District Council, Lloyd Clarke kept food, including pâté, cheese, raw steak mince, cooked beef and ice cream that was not fit for human consumption in the Huntsman and Hounds pub in Spexhall, near Halesworth.

The shocking state of food, some of which was covered in mould and slime, was found in the kitchen during an inspection by district council environmental health officers on December 17, 2009.

Today Clarke, 54, from Ipswich, was fined £1,900 and banned from working in food premises after he pleaded guilty at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court to 17 offences under Food Safety Regulations.

The offences involved food unfit food, dirty premises and a charge of not having a food management system.

In papers submitted to the court a council statement said: “During the inspection they found the kitchen to be in a very dirty condition.

“There was a food management diary on the premises but the last entry had been made on May 11, 2009 by the previous manager of the premises.

“During the inspection the officers found a large amount of unfit food on the premises which was covered in various stages of mould growth and was in various stages of decomposition.”

Clarke left the Huntsman and Hounds in July 2010 after running it for about a year. He had claimed the food in the kitchen was not for sale and had said he had just arrived back for a holiday when the inspection took place.

After today’s hearing Paul Goldsmith, district council food safety officer, said: “This was the one of the worst cases of food hygiene failure I have ever dealt with, and the amount and nature of the unfit food on the premises was definitely the worst. He had clearly allowed standards to slip for a long time.”

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