Food poi­son­ing pub goes from zero to hero in hy­giene rat­ings

Bristol Post - - NEWS - Heather PICKSTOCK heather.pickstock@reach­plc.com

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

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