Restaurant owner fined after rodent droppings and out of date food discovered

Kershaw House, Luddenden Foot.

Kershaw House, Luddenden Foot.

A restaurant owner has been ordered to pay more than £14,000 in fines and costs after a catalogue of food offences was discovered.

Inspections at the former Kershaw House restaurant and Landlord’s Friend Brewery, Luddenden Foot, revealed rodent droppings, stacks of out of date food, dirty surfaces and equipment and an inability to trace where meat had come from.

Bradford Magistrates Court heard that inspections in 2014 and 2015 uncovered a number of food hygiene breaches.

Business owner Christopher Holroyd, 48, who took over the business in 2014, was warned these would need addressing but inspections carried out in March last year unearthed more offences.

When inspectors visited the business, which the court heard had closed, on March 2, Holroyd barred them from taking photographs of the offending items and removing food from the premises.

A warrant was then obtained for another inspection on March 20, where food including boiled ham, gammon steak, chicken and yoghurt was found to be out of date.

Holroyd was also unable to identify when or where he had purchased some meat products. Inadequate labelling was found on 24 vacuum packs of steaks and products had been rewrapped outside of Calderdale.

Filthy surfaces and equipment were also discovered.

Magistrates told Holroyd he had displayed a “flagrant disregard for the law”. He was ordered to pay a fine of £3,960, costs of £9,999.11p and a surcharge of £170.

Councillor Barry Collins, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and economic development, said: “I welcome the result of the court case and thank our Environmental Health team, West Yorkshire Police, the Food Standards Agency and the National Food Crime Unit for their hard work on this case.

“It gives a clear message that we won’t hesitate to take action if we are concerned that a food business is putting people’s health at risk. It also highlights the need for full traceability on products and sourcing meat from legal and approved places to protect consumers.

“We should all be able to have confidence that the food we buy is safe to eat and has been prepared hygienically. We work with Calderdale businesses to help them comply with the rules, and the majority do, but if they don’t we have no option but to prosecute.”