Pub bosses "incredibly disappointed" at zero food hygiene rating and pledge improvements

Bosses at a popular Doncaster pub given a zero food hygiene rating amid claims of rats, dirty kitchens and sewage leaks have broken their silence, saying they are “incredibly disappointed” by the score and have pledged improvements.
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The Cheswold pub on Doncaster Leisure Park has come in for fierce criticism from inspectors following the inspection on February 12, with inspectors declaring urgent improvement necessary.

It said that major improvement was necessary in the cleanliness, condition and facilities of the building and that major improvements were also needed when it came to hygenic food handling including preparation, cooking and storage, with the venue also failing on food safety.

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Bosses at Whitbread, which operates the pub under the Brewers Fayre brand have now broken their silence over a series of closures and accusations about the bar.

The Cheswold was given a zero food hygiene rating, with bosses describing the news as "incredibly disappointing."The Cheswold was given a zero food hygiene rating, with bosses describing the news as "incredibly disappointing."
The Cheswold was given a zero food hygiene rating, with bosses describing the news as "incredibly disappointing."

A spokesman said: “We are obviously incredibly disappointed by the rating at this site, which clearly falls significantly short of the high standards we expect.

"In accordance with our own policies, we took the decision to voluntarily close the restaurant whilst the necessary improvements were made.

"The Enivronmental Health Officer has since visited the site, which has now re-opened, and confirmed they are satisfied with the progress made.

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"We will be re-applying to have the Food Hygiene Rating re-scored.

"We’re confident the necessary changes have been made and have robust plans in place to ensure high standards are adhered to as we and our guests rightly expect.”

The zero rating came after a source at the pub claimed staff were told to keep serving food during a recent sewage leak and said: “Customers deserve to know what’s going on.”

Last week, photos showing kitchen floors strewn with rubbish and debris as well as a video of rats outside the pub were shared after several customers reported turning up at the pub only to find it closed.

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Yesterday, further details emerged of recent issues at the pub – including a ‘sewage’ leak inside the kitchen with one source saying: “People should know the truth.”

They said: “Sewage water leaked into the kitchen and contaminated the kitchen, play area and toilet.

"You would think they would close the kitchen but they didn't.

"The kitchen staff were told to keep serving food whilst walking through puddles of excrement and other sewage.

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"The dry store had been contaminated and yet they stayed open and carried on serving.

"Staff had to get changed in the kitchen into their normal clothes – the staff have been treated appallingly and it's time the firm owned up to its faults.”

"The Cheswold is not what it once was and the public deserve to know where they are eating and what kind of standards the pub has for its customers.”

One clip released last week shows a rat peeking out of a drain cover in the bins area at the rear of the pub, while another clip shows a rodent scuttling away as it sniffs around near a bin.

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Photos said to be taken inside the kitchen of the Brewers Fayre pub show floors strewn with rubbish and food debris, cluttered and dirty work surfaces with food spills and dirty cooking equipment.

It is not clear when the photos and videos were taken, but the Free Press have verified the videos as having being taken at the rear of the pub.

The person who has supplied the pictures and footage has asked not to be identified but said: “The kitchen is diabolical - it’s a massive health and safety risk.

“Hygiene is out of the window

“There’s rats in the yard and food all over the kitchen.”

“Customers need to know the standards of the kitchen they’re being served food from.”

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At its last food hygiene inspection in February 2022, the pub was given a five star rating.

Problems were first reported at The Cheswold – which is popular with Doncaster Rovers fans on matchdays – when supporters arrived to find it closed before the game with AFC Wimbledon. on February 24, 12 days after the food inspection.

One Doncaster Rovers supporter wrote: “Just to let people know who usually go to The Cheswold before games that it is shut with no real explanation.”

Other customers have also come forward to say they have also turned up to find the venue unexpectedly closed.

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One said: “The opening hours seem to be all over the place. One minute you go and it seems to be as open as normal, the next it’s closed again.

"When I asked the girl behind the counter just mumbled something about “issues” but didn’t go any further.”

Another customer said: “We recently went to the Cheswold, only to find it was still shut.

"I cannot find out any news. I am lead to believe, rightly or wrongly, the kitchen has been shut down.”

Another told the Free Press: “We have got a children’s party there and want to know what’s going on.

"We have done some investigating but seem to be getting nowhere.”

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