Food poisoning pub goes from zero to hero in hygiene ratings
APUB where dozens of diners suffered food poisoning after eating there on Mothering Sunday has been issued with a five star food hygiene rating.
More than 60 people fell ill, suffering from sickness and diarrhoea in March after eating at the Old Farmhouse in Nailsea.
The kitchens at the pub, off Trendlewood Way, were temporarily closed while officials from Public Health England and North Somerset Council launched an investigation into the cause.
It was given a zero food hygiene rating after an inspection.
The source of the food poisoning was traced to an organism called Clostridium perfringens.
C.perfringens live normally in the human and animal intestine and in the environment.
Symptoms are normally caused by eating food contaminated with large numbers of the bacteria that produce enough toxin in the intes- tines to cause illness.
It is understood that all those who suffered symptoms made a full recovery.
Now, eight months later and with the pub under new management, the Old Farmhouse been given a five star food hygiene rating by North Somerset Council environmental health officers who inspected the inn earlier this month.
The pub was taken over in August by husband and wife team Wes and Becky Devonald who have invested tens of thousand of pounds on improvements.
The kitchen has been completely gutted and refitted at a cost of £20,000 and a set of new procedures put in place.
A new team of kitchen staff has also been appointed.
Wes, who also runs the White Hart in Wrington and has a mobile fish and chip shop, said the pub was going from strength to strength with 300 people enjoying a carvery on Sunday alone.
Wes, 30, said: “What happened at the pub earlier this year was unfortunate.
“We took over the pub in August this year and have spent a lot of time and money refurbishing the kitchen, putting in new procedures and now have a new kitchen team.
“We were inspected by North Somerset Council on November 6 and the authority was happy that the pub was fully compliant and awarded us a five star food hygiene rating.”
The pub has also seen it business soar since being taken over.
“We have revamped the menu but are still concentrating on Brit- ish classics and favourites and all our food is home cooked,” said Wes. We are fully booked out for dinner on Christmas Day and are looking forward to a busy festive season.”
Wes, who has been in the pub business for 10 years, said further improvements are planned at the hostelry, including a refurbishment of the building early next year.
“My wife and I are spending all our time here at the moment,” said Wes, “and we have plans for the future including a further refurbishment in January and doing live music.”
As part of deciding food hygiene ratings, inspectors from the council assess the premises, looking at the handling, preparation, cooking and storage of food.
Health and safety officers also check the cleanliness and condition of the building to make sure it is safe for customers.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) scale goes from zero to five, with venues receiving five deemed as the safest, cleanest and the best.
Food businesses do not have to show their rating, but all of the information is published on the FSA website.
The Old Farmhouse in Nailsea is under new ownership and has undergone a major refit