Luxury hotel infested with flies because dyslexic chef couldn’t read use-by dates on food, owners fined

I used a variation of the headline in today’s Daily Mail, but it would appear there were additional food safety issues at this fancy-pants hotel.

The luxurious Mellington Hall Hotel, in Wales, describes itself as a ‘hidden gem’ nestling in 280 acres of beautiful parkland and serving only the finest food and drink.

But when environmental health inspectors arrived they found a ‘significant fly infestation’, mouldy strawberries and cream past its use-by date.

The Victorian gothic mansion, which boasts on its website that it offers ‘a combination of the finest food and drink savoured in elegantly furnished surroundings with an attentive and knowledgeable staff to make your meal with us unforgettable’, was closed immediately and deep-cleaned following the inspection last July.

But after a second visit this month also found mouldy food, it emerged that the chef was dyslexic and had been unable to read the use-by dates.

Lance Thomas and his wife Vanessa, with whom he runs the hotel near Church Stoke, Powys, Wales, were fined a total of £6,750 at Welshpool magistrates for the breaches of hygiene. They have now adopted a colour-coded system so that the unnamed chef can identify the food that is going off.

Court also heard health-types found trays of cooked meat and vegetables on the floor of the chiller, flies landing on food preparation surfaces and on open food left uncovered in the kitchen, and unwrapped brie on top of moldy strawberries.