Care home fined for poor food hygiene

The owners of a care home in Burnham have been fined after Environmental Health officers found they had repeatedly broken food hygiene laws.

The Fremantle Trust Limited, who run Lent Rise Care Home in Coulson Way, Burnham, Buckinghamshire, were found guilty of seven charges of food hygiene offences at Reading Magistrates' Court and sentenced on Thursday 4th April 2019. They were fined £33,000 and asked to pay costs of £8,932 plus a victim surcharge fee of £125.

Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils Environmental Health (EH) Officers carried out a routine food inspection of Lent Rise House on 15 August 2017 and found poor conditions in the kitchen requiring major improvement and the home was given a score of 1 for food hygiene. The Environmental Health Team started to work with the home to improve the conditions in the kitchen. During an unannounced visit by EH on 17 October 2017 the business had satisfactorily addressed the majority of issues raised and no further action was needed by the Council. The Fremantle Trust was encouraged to submit an application for a Food Hygiene Rating Scheme rescore but no such application was received.

On 22 December 2017 the Care Quality Commission visited the home and told the Council that they were concerned about the standards in the kitchen. As a result EH re-visited the premises on 27 December and found that the conditions in the kitchen had declined, there was a lack of suitable training and supervision of staff, lack of adequate management systems, poor hand hygiene and ineffective cleaning. Food was left on warm heaters, there were cross contamination risks and food was found to be past its 'use by' date. A food hygiene rating of 0 was issued; the lowest score possible.

On a revisit by the EH team on 4 January 2018 the situation still hadn't improved and contraventions of food hygiene were found again. Three Food Hygiene Improvement Notices (FHINs) were subsequently served on the Fremantle Trust.  EH visited the Home again on 23 January and although standards were found to have improved, there were still a number of issues. At a further visit on 12 February the EH Officer noted that the FHINs had been partially complied with.

On 14 March 2018 the home had an unannounced inspection and received a score of 5; the highest score possible. They had a subsequent inspection last month (March 2019) and achieved a score of 5 again.

Our Environmental Team monitor and periodically inspect food premises to help businesses raise and maintain standards.