Tuesday, 09 February 2016

Ex South Lakes-restaurateur had dirty kitchen

A FORMER restaurant owner has been fined for having a dirty kitchen.

Lakeland District Council has successfully prosecuted Lucy Nicholson, the former owner of Lucy’s on a Plate in Ambleside, after she pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to keep her kitchen clean.

Nicholson, 55, was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,200, after she pleaded guilty at Carlisle Crown Court on Wednesday.

She was prosecuted after inspectors visited the premises on Church Street, Ambleside, and found the kitchen to be in violation of numerous breaches of the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006.

The offences were committed between July 15, 2010 and September 7, 2010.

The offences were failure to keep food premises clean and in good repair, failure to ensure food was protected and fit for human consumption and failure to keep records on how food is stored.

In summing up, Recorder Medland QC, said the kitchen was in a “dirty, dilapidated and uncared for state”, adding: “Over a number of years you built up a good reputation but the business had gone badly wrong.

“By summer 2010 the oversight you brought was gone and the result was plain to see. The state of the kitchen was very poor.”

SLDC Environmental Health Officers investigated the restaurant following two complaints from contract chefs working at the restaurant. The officers found the kitchens to be dirty with a build-up of grease on surfaces, food kept at the wrong temperatures with a lack of cleaning and proper management controls.

SLDC Councillor Claire Feeney-Johnson, portfolio holder for Environment, said: “SLDC does not like to bring prosecutions unless it has to but in this case we had a duty to protect people visiting this restaurant.

“Residents and visitors to the area have a right to be safe when they visit any of the wonderful restaurants and cafes we have in the area and Lucy’s on a Plate fell very short of providing a safe environment to eat.

“We would urge eating establishments to display their certificate from the National Food Hygiene Rating Scheme, which our Environmental Health Officers provide.

“This will let people know the establishment has been rated and passed inspection.”

Lucy’s on a Plate is now under new management and was recently awarded the highest food hygiene rating of five stars.

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