Somerset cafe bar where rats chewed through air vents given zero food hygiene rating

A Somerset cafe bar has seen its five-star food hygiene slashed to zero after health inspectors found issues which included rats chewing their way into the building. Coates House cafe bar in Nailsea, which previously had a five star rating, was inspected by North Somerset Council environmental health officers in early February.

The inspectors said ‘major improvements’ were needed to the cafe bar’s cleanliness and the condition of the building and the management of food safety. They also said that improvements were necessary in the hygienic handling of food by staff.

When inspectors visited they found the kitchen had no running hot water due to a fault with the boiler. Instead, staff were boiling up pans of water on the cooker.

READ MORE: Yobs paint lewd images on fence in Somerset but CCTV was deleted by mistake

They also discovered that rats had chewed through the plastic air vents into the sub-structure of the building and that staff’s food hygiene certificates were out of date. The cafe bar has also been slated on Tripadvisor in recent months with diners complaining of ‘sticky tables’, long waits for food and ‘appalling’ service.

One diner Surf2c said: “The service and evening was the worse I have ever had. I will not be recommending this place to anyone. Absolutely appalling. “

Another diner, who endured a long wait for food, said: “I suspect that there were not enough staff to deal with the number of patrons. Sorry Coates, that was the second time we have had a less than good visit, we won’t be doing a third chance …….. (SIC) “

READ MORE: How to get covid booster jabs in North Somerset as cases reach highest point ever

In the past, the venue had enjoyed far better reviews, with people giving it four and five stars on Tripadvisor. Following the visit by environmental health, business owners James Murray and Simon Extance immediately closed Coates House for a number of days to put the improvements in place.

Once the work had been done, the cafe bar on the High Street re-opened. James, who has owned the business for six years, transforming it from the former Queens Head pub into the contemporary cafe with business partner Simon, said: “All the time we have owned the business we have had a four or five star food hygiene rating .

“On the day the inspectors visited we had no hot running water in the kitchen. We were using a temporary solution to boil up water in pans. We were waiting for a part for the boiler which turned up two hours after the inspectors left. The boiler was fixed straight away.

“We implemented a voluntary closure order that weekend while the repairs were carried out. All the work has now been completed. “

Mr Murray said the issue with the food hygiene certificates arose due to the pandemic. With the business closed the staff had not had a refresher course.

Food hygiene certificates are due to be renewed every three years. “We thought that because of the closure due to covid, that time would not count for the food hygiene certificates. But they ended up going out of date, “he said.

“All our staff have now undergone a refresher and have renewed their food hygiene level two certificates. The plastic air vents in the sub structure of the building have now been replaced with metal ones. “

Council health inspectors have since paid an ‘informal visit’ to the cafe bar to check the improvements have been carried out and are said to be ‘happy’ with the changes.

Want our best stories with fewer ads and alerts when the biggest news stories drop? Download our app on iPhone or Android (Somerset)

James and Simon have now applied to the council for a re- inspection of the premises – but this could take up to three months. The pair are confident the measures put in place will see their five star rating renewed.

James said: “We have rectified everything raised by the environmental health team. We have had an informal visit by the environmental health team and they are happy all the improvements have been carried out.

“We have, like other hospitality businesses, had a tough couple of years due to covid. None of the issues raised by the inspectors posed a risk to customers. All our food is handled correctly and all cooked fresh to order. We are now waiting for a re-inspection and are confident that we will once again have a five star food hygiene rating. “

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.