The Food Standards Agency awarded the White Hart Inn a 1-star rating after a foodborne outbreak incident left 2 people hospitalized and others ill from a gathering.
Inspections are a snap shot in time, what did the previous inspections look like for this facility? Any trends identified?
When I was in the field, I had to contend with a severe lack of resources to conduct my work adequately, meaning that a high risk establishment that should have been inspected 4 -6 times within a given year may have seen 1 inspection.
What’s the point?
Staff accordingly, provide the necessary resources to conduct a proper health inspection and ensure management supports your endeavors. It’s about quality not quantity.
Richard Duggan of Essex Live reports:
He said they are still trying to work out what happened
A businessman who runs a country pub has spoken out after a number of his customers contracted a nasty sickness bug.
The White Hart Inn, in Swan Lane, Margaretting Tye, has recently been scrutinised by food hygiene inspectors after the majority of a party became ill following a meal on February 18.
Of the 33 guests who attended the meal, 25 became ill following the outing, with two having to go to hospital because their symptoms were so severe.
Owing to the number of individuals who became sick, Public Health England and Chelmsford Environmental Health launched an investigation.
Following the episode, the pub’s owner, Saran Duffy, has explained how the incident has affected the business and what plans are being put in place to address customers’ concerns.
“All I’m trying to do is run a business here and employ people,” he said.
“We had our food tested – it all passed with flying colours.
What food was tested? Was there remaining food from the day of the incident or new batch?
“In terms of food poisoning, we are not sure how that happened – I’m not saying anybody else is at fault.”
Mr Saran states that tests conducted as part of the inspection of the premises following the outbreak found the restaurant’s food was “safe”.
Statement from a Chelmsford City Council spokesperson following the sickness outbreak
“Chelmsford City Council and Public Health England (PHE) have been made aware that a number of people attending a celebratory meal at an Ingatestone pub suffered with symptoms common with infectious gastroenteritis, although this is yet to be confirmed.
“Chelmsford Environmental Health Officers have been working with PHE and the pub to provide hygiene and infection control advice to help stop the illness spreading.
“PHE has also advised the cases that are poorly what to do to aid recovery and prevent them spreading the germ to others.”
Michele Dawes, from Cranham, was a member of the party that visited the White Hart Inn and then became ill.
“I was ill for five days, really dreadful and some were hit harder than others,” she said.
“It was non-stop for eight hours at a time. Some people just had diarrhoea, some had sickness, some had both. A lot of people were both.
The White Hart Inn is in Margaretting, Ingatestone
“If you have seen that scene from Bridesmaids and there is three of us in our house.”
The large group met for lunch, but following the meal, many fell ill with stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea over the following days.
It is believed that the customers suffered with symptoms common with infectious gastroenteritis, although this is yet to be confirmed through the investigation.
What is infectious gastroenteritis?
Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the guy caused by a virus or bacteria and a type of highly-infectious virus that can be spread. The symptoms are usually connected with sickness and diarrhoea and similar to food poisoning.
Feeling sick (nausea)
Being sick (vomiting)
Stomach ache or cramps
A high temperature of 38C or above
They usually start a few hours or days after picking up a bug.
Michelle contacted the pub after becoming ill and it was later revealed that two staff members had become unwell around the same time.
“When you’re that ill the last thing you want to do is pick up the phone,” she added.
“Everyone is okay, thats the main thing, I took it very seriously.
“The pub has done everything they could to help, I want to stress that.
“It’s a lovely pub and they were lovely about it.”
Once news of the sickness had spread, it had a knock-on effect of the pub’s business.
An inspection of the pub by officers from the Food Standards Agency on February 20 resulted in the business being awarded a one star rating, which means major improvement is necessary.
How are the food hygiene ratings for businesses decided?
There are three categories which make up a food hygiene rating.
Each one is individually graded and adds to the overall score for a business.
Overall ratings can be scored from zero to five.
Below is the most recent food hygiene rating for The White Hart:
Area inspected by food safety officer
Hygienic food handling
Hygienic handling of food including preparation, cooking, re-heating, cooling and storage
Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building
Cleanliness and condition of facilities and building (including having appropriate layout, ventilation, hand washing facilities and pest control) to enable good food hygiene
Management of food safety
System or checks in place to ensure that food sold or served is safe to eat, evidence that staff know about food safety, and the food safety officer has confidence that standards will be maintained in future.
Major improvement necessary
The pub has been awarded a rating of one star which means major improvement is necessary.
Despite the decision, Mr Saran is confident that changes made in the wake of the scandal will result in a more satisfactory rating, but accepts that he cannot “hasten” the re-inspection.
“They could revisit on any day but we will be prepared for it,” he added.
“We should be able to recover our rating from one star, otherwise it’s going to be a very difficult summer for everyone.
“I can only put my hands up and say we are trying and have everything we can within the remit of the environment agency and we look forward to their next visit.”
The White Hart Inn currently has an average rating of 4.5 stars from customers who have left reviews on Trip Advisor.