Greene King pub handed one-star food hygiene rating
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009
A town’s historic pub and restaurant has reassured its customers of a return to high standards after being handed a poor hygiene rating.
The Bell Hotel and Inn, in King Street, Thetford, has been given a one-star food hygiene rating after an inspection by Breckland Council in October found major improvement is needed in food safety and cleanliness.
The pub, which is owned by Greene King, has been a staple in the town since 1493.
The main issue found was that the kitchen area and surfaces were dirty with the inspector calling it poor. This continued to surfaces that came into contact with food, such as the microwaves, hobs, grills, and counters.
It was found that the staff changing rooms were also "extremely poor" with dirty clothes and towels around the room.
The inspector said that cleaning of these must be completed immediately and changes must be made to ensure that the kitchen and changing room stays clean in the future.
Some of the food in the restaurant and pub are served on wooden boards. A number of these were found to have cracks or splits in which meant that they could not be cleaned properly. It has been suggested for these to be thrown away.
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There was also no record of a food safety book, which should be filed in with the relevant checks. When the chef and manager were spoken too neither were clear on the food hazard warnings that would have featured in the safety book.
A spokesperson for The Bell Hotel said: "We pride ourselves on our normally high standards and we took immediate action in October when the inspection took place to remedy the issues identified and have worked closely with the local authority since on this.
"We are confident in the pub's standards and are seeking a re-inspection to regain our previous high rating as soon as possible."
Thetford is known for being the filming location of the BBC comedy Dad's Army which aired from 1968 to 1977. The Bell Hotel is where the cast and crew of the show would stay during filming.
The pub is reported to haunted by the ghost of its 19th century landlady Betty Radcliffe.