Welsh restaurant directors that played ‘Where’s Wally’ with their Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) display have been fined £10,700 and more than £4,500 in costs for a string of food hygiene offences.
The popular JT3 restaurant, in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, which describes itself as serving ‘modern European’ food, secured a zero food hygiene rating on 24 March 2019, shortly after opening.
But during repeated visits up until February this year, council officers found the FHRS score was not on display, or was stuck on a glass internal door and displayed backwards so it couldn’t be read, on the back of a wooden front door, or stuck underneath a coat rack behind an umbrella (pictured).
JT3 directors Daniel Wynne Jones and Lois Thomas, with their company Me‘n’u1 Ltd, were charged with 21, 19, and 21 charges respectively, mostly under the Food Hygiene Wales Regulations 2006 and some relating to the failure to display FHRS score. They pleaded guilty to all offences at Haverfordwest Magistrates on Friday 3 July.
Daniel Wynne Jones was also served with a prohibition notice banning him from operating a food business.
At the start, inspectors found the JT3’s basement kitchen was in a poor state of cleanliness and repair. There were no disinfecting cleaning products or soap available or an inadequate water supply, and flies were present. And there was no evidence of any food safety management system in use.
In total there were at least nine visits spread across almost one year, including inspections, plus an interview under caution. A fixed penalty notice was served for the non-display of FHRS score, which was not paid.
On 19 December two visits had to be made, and a remedial action notice served to prevent the restaurant from preparing chicken liver parfait and a dish described as pink duck. Improvement notices were served to improve training and ensure food safety procedures were followed.
Pembrokeshire County Council, which brought the case, said it was “unprecedented” for one of its food businesses to score zero twice and for conditions to have deteriorated rather than improved between inspections.
A spokesperson said: “Despite the best efforts of our officers to move this business towards compliance, the food business operator continued to flout food safety regulations and mislead customers about his food hygiene rating.”
Pictures from inspections at JT3, courtesy of Pembrokeshire council: