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Dirty and dangerous: The conditions found at this village pub

By Liam Keen | South Staffordshire | News | Published:

Inspectors found these conditions during inspections at The Vine Inn in Kinver

The dirty conditions found inside

A filthy cooker, exposed nails in a children's play area, and dirty surfaces - this is the scene found by inspectors at a village pub.

Pub boss Barry Aust pleaded guilty to repeated breaches of food hygiene and health and safety regulations after an inspection at The Vine Inn, in Dunsley Road, Kinver, near Stourbridge.

The 66-year-old, from Broadwas, in Worcester, was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115 and South Staffordshire Council's prosecution costs of £8,513.59.

The Vine Inn in Kinver

The pub, which offers pub food and carveries to customers, scored a food hygiene rating of one in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Food safety officers from South Staffordshire Council then visited the pub on May 23 and 24 to carry out a routine food inspection, when they found the dirty conditions.

The kitchen, bar, cellar, carvery and outside areas were all found to be below standards, said the council.

Nails were sticking out of the play area

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The council said there was no food safety management system, stock control or allergen management system in place and staff were young or inexperienced with little or no training.

It posed a health and safety risk to staff and visitors, including dangerous electrical equipment and electrical sockets, badly damaged drainage grills in the cellar and yard, and a rotten and damaged decking area in the beer garden, the council said.

A children’s play area was also found to be dangerous with screws and nails sticking out, splintered and damaged wood, and missing steps and restraining boards, said the council.

Aust was issued with a health and safety prohibition notice for the play equipment and three further health and safety improvement notices were served for the damaged drainage grills and electrical items, alongside a food hygiene improvement notice.

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Nails were sticking out of the play area

Despite the warnings from previous inspections, a visit from officials on January 19, 2019, found a number of food hygiene and health and safety issues.

Councillor Roger Lees, deputy leader and cabinet member for regulatory services at South Staffordshire Council, said: “A prison sentence is extremely rare for these sort of prosecutions and although it was suspended due to the offender’s health, these were serious matters for the magistrates to consider.

The dirty conditions found inside

"The sentence also reflected that Mr Aust had been given extensive advice and many warnings over the years from our officers and failed to comply.

“We will continue to be vigilant on behalf of our residents who trust these establishments to provide food that is prepared in a safe and hygienic way and to protect the safety of both staff and customers.

"The council’s environmental health team is authorised to take action where it finds non-compliance and especially repeated failures.”

Liam Keen

By Liam Keen
Sports Reporter - @LiamKeen_Star

Sports journalist at the Express & Star, primarily covering Walsall FC and grassroots sport across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Got a story? Get in touch on 01902 319456.

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