A man has been prosecuted for the second time for food hygiene offences at his seafront restaurant.
Ben Shorrock, 32, was fined £5,000 after inspectors uncovered a list of problems at the Eating Inn, on the Promenade.
They included dead insects stuck to fly paper hung directly above food; dirty crockery being rinsed in brown, grimy water; and onions being stored outdoors on dirty ground.
But he said after the hearing that ‘vast improvments’ have been made at the premises since the inspection last year.
The Eating Inn was highlighted by The Gazette last month in a list of premises scoring the lowest possible food hygiene ratings.
Shorrock since pleaded guilty to seven offences relating to food safety and consumer protection laws.
Some business owners consistently disregard the law
He was also ordered to pay costs of £390 and a victim surcharge of £170 by Blackpool magistrates.
Blackpool Council said its inspectors visited the premises in September last year.
They found food preparation surfaces had raw and ready to eat food stored and prepared together.
The only hand wash basin in the kitchen was obstructed with a colander of defrosting prawns meaning food handlers were not able to wash their hands when preparing food. Onions were stored outside on a dirty floor amongst dirty cleaning equipment.
Shorrock pleaded guilty under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 to misleading the public by displaying an out-dated food hygiene rating of four, when it was actually lower. He was previously prosecuted by Blackpool Council in 2010 for similar offences.
He had also been served with various hygiene improvement notices and accepted simple cautions prior to the second prosecution.
Tim Coglan, Blackpool Council’s service manager for public protection, said: “The Eating Inn is an example of how some business owners consistently disregard the law.
“The premises were found to be flouting regulations put in place to keep the public safe, and this owner has now been prosecuted for a second time. It will not be tolerated. We are pleased that the courts imposed a fine which reflects the seriousness of the offence.
“Hopefully this will deter other business owners from serving food that could put the public at risk.”
Shorrock told The Gazette after the hearing he had taken effort to improve standards.
He added: “We have gone to extreme lengths to do everything possible to meet the requirements they are asking for.”
He said the problems arose after a complaint he was displaying the wrong food hygiene rating – but insisted that was the first he knew of the lower rating he had been given.
“I didn’t know what they were talking about,” he added. “It’s embarrassing.
“But vast improvements have been made. I have requested a revisit already – I should be confident everything will be fine.”