05:14PM, Tuesday 09 April 2019
site pic of Lent Rise House, Coulson Way, Burnham
The owner of a Burnham care home has been fined £33,000 for repeatedly breaking food hygiene laws.
The Fremantle Trust, which runs Lent Rise House in Coulson Way, was found guilty of seven food hygiene offences at Reading Magistrates’ Court and sentenced on Thursday, April 4.
Besides the five-figure fine, the company was told to pay costs of £8,932 and a £125 victim surcharge.
Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils’ environmental health officers carried out a routine food inspection at Lent Rise House on August 15, 2017, and found poor conditions in the kitchen which needed ‘major improvement’, the authorities said in a statement today.
The home was given a score of ‘one’ for food hygiene and the authorities worked with the home to improve the kitchen’s condition.
During an unannounced visit on October 17, 2017, it was found that the kitchen had addressed the majority of problems but the Fremantle Trust did not submit an application to have its food hygiene rating rescored.
On December 22, 2017, the Care Quality Commission, which inspects care homes, visited and announced its concerns about the kitchen’s standards, leading to environmental health officers visiting again five days later, when they found the conditions had declined.
They also found a lack of suitable training and supervision of staff, inadequate management systems, poor hand hygiene and ineffective cleaning.
Food was left on warm heaters, they found, there were cross-contamination risks and food was left out past its use-by date. The care home was given a zero food hygiene rating and legal action began.
The situation had not improved by January 4, 2018, and the Fremantle Trust was issued with three food hygiene improvement notices.
An improvement was found on January 23, 2018, and by March 2018 the home got a score of five – the highest hygiene score possible. That score was earned again in an inspection last month.
Cllr Patrick Hogan, South Bucks District Council member for environmental health, said: “In South Bucks most food businesses have good or very good food hygiene standards.
“When we find there are problems, officers work closely with businesses to help them improve but when they fail to follow advice, we have to use formal action, as we did in this case.
“I’m pleased to report that the Fremantle Trust has now achieved a very good food hygiene rating.”
Sara Livadeas, chief executive of the Fremantle Trust, said: "We accept the outcome of this legal process and take full responsibility for the issues raised.
"The matter was resolved following proactive liaison with the local authority at the time and the implementation of a robust action plan.
"The service was re-inspected in March 2018 and again in March 2019 and given a Food Hygiene Rating of 5 on both occasions - the highest possible score. We remain vigilant to ensure that we take the learning from this experience across all of our services."
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