Iconic hotel fined for food safety breaches

The operator of a landmark Liverpool hotel has been fined more than £265,000 after pleading guilty to seven breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations.

Britannia Hotels Ltd, which runs the Adelphi Hotel was sentenced after appearing at Liverpool Magistrates Court today (22 June) and was fined £232,500 and made to pay costs of £34,831..

The Court was told that three unannounced food hygiene inspections were made on the 29 September 2015, 18 March 2016 and 7 September 2016, carried out by the city council’s Environmental Health Officers (EHOs).

During the 29 September 2015 inspection, live cockroaches were found underneath the hot cabinet/servery in the area known as Jenny’s kitchen. The EHO noted that the floor surfaces under the equipment were unclean with a build-up of food debris and grease which provided a food source for pests. On this occasion the EHO saw live cockroaches, and cockroach eggs. Conditions posed a serious risk of contamination and the hotel agreed to voluntarily close the kitchen. After the hotel carried out remedial works the EHO revisited the hotel on the 5 October 2015 and agreed that Jenny’s kitchen could reopen.

During the 18 March 2016 inspection, EHOs found mice and rat droppings throughout the hotel, namely in the main kitchen, first floor food storage rooms, cutlery room, within the self-service hot display servery in Jenny’s restaurant and under customer seating. There were gaps and holes in the wall, floor and ceiling surfaces which provided rodents with access/entry points. Floor and equipment surfaces were unclean with a build-up of food debris and grease. Conditions posed a serious risk of contamination and the hotel agreed to voluntary close all affected areas. EHOs revisited the hotel on the 22 March 2016 and EHOs found further rodent droppings in the main kitchen under the shelving/racking storing food preparation equipment. Gaps/holes were still present. After the hotel carried out further remedial works officers revisited the hotel again on the 1 April 2016 and agreed the areas which previously had rodent activity could reopen.

During the 7 September 2016 inspection, EHOs found live cockroaches in the location of the dishwasher in Jenny’s kitchen. The EHOs noted that wall and floor surfaces in the area behind the dishwasher were unclean resulting in a build-up of food debris and grease which provided a food source for pests. During the inspection EHOs again saw live cockroaches and eggs. Conditions posed a serious risk of contamination and the hotel agreed to voluntary close Jenny’s kitchen. After the hotel carried out remedial works the EHO revisited the hotel on the 22 September 2016 and agreed Jenny’s kitchen could reopen.

It was also noted in court that an earlier inspection had taken place in March 2015 which again uncovered live cockroaches in the pantry/lounge kitchen and noted that floor and equipment surfaces were unclean with a build-up of food debris and grease which provided a food source for pests. After the hotel carried out work and it was reopened following an EHO visit on 30 April 2015.

Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member responsible for Highways and City Services, said: “The Adelphi is an embarrassment to the city and it’s really sad that the owners have allowed what was once a great establishment go to wrack and ruin. The way the Adelphi is run at the moment would make Fawlty Towers look like a 5 star hotel.

“It is without a doubt a shocking example of a prominent Liverpool business continually breaching food safety standards which put the health of their guests at risk.

“It seems like they had a blatant disregard for hygiene standards, despite the efforts of our environmental health officers who continually worked with them giving them advice and trying to make sure they reached at least satisfactory standards.

“The level of the fine for the owner reflects the seriousness of the charge and I hope this will ensure that from now on their food hygiene standards are the highest possible.

“I’d like to congratulate our environmental health team on their hard work and persistence, and hope this reassures residents and visitors that we will not tolerate the actions of organisations that put public health at risk.”

Liverpool City Council Public Protection Division operates the national Food Hygiene Rating Scheme. The public can check the food hygiene rating of most food business in Liverpool by visiting www.food.gov.uk/ratings

The Adelphi Hotel currently holds a ‘2’ rating following the most recent inspection by the Council in March 2017.