A Wirral pub where staff washed their hands on dirty rags received the worst possible food hygiene rating.
The Queens Arms, based at 60 Liscard Village, Liscard, Wirral, received the Wirral Council inspectors’ note after finding numerous issues, including risks of cross-contamination and food discovered in the fridge and freezer.
The food hygiene report, submitted to ECHO after an access to information request was made, stated: “The standard of cleaning of the kitchen structure was poor. Deep cleaning and deep disinfection is required.
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Highlighting specific issues, the report said the baseboard was oily, as were the legs and feet of the equipment and the pipes behind the units and under the sinks.
The document adds: “You must thoroughly clean the above areas. The required standard of cleanliness is that there should be no visible dirt other than inevitable fresh spills.
Another issue was the way The Queens Arms stored their food.
The report adds: “A number of foods stored in the refrigerator and freezer were left uncovered. This practice can lead to the contamination of food by physical contamination (foreign body), allergen cross-contamination and freezer burn.
“Food must be covered to be protected from contamination. This was also very evident in the kitchen for ease of use. This should be discouraged or drastically reduced.
It was not the only risk of contamination in the pub.
The document continues, “No designated food preparation area between raw and ready-to-eat foods. The main kitchen table appeared to be used for all processes.
“When raw and ready-to-eat foods are handled and prepared on the same premises, effective procedures must be in place to avoid cross-contamination. “
There were also hand washing issues at the Queens Arms.
The document read: “There was no soap at the designated sink. It shows me that you didn’t wash your hands at that sink. You must use the hand basin.
“Reusable rags were used to clean food preparation surfaces and staff were observed cleaning their hands on dirty rags before continuing to prepare food. “
Inspectors noted that clothing could become “heavily contaminated” with bacteria that can be transferred to food as it is prepared.
Therefore, they made it clear that reusable rags should be kept clean and replaced regularly.
The report adds, “No verification has been done to confirm that the food is kept at a safe temperature (hot and cold food). This can allow food poisoning bacteria to survive.
ECHO has contacted The Queens Arms for comment, but has received no response.