Boathouse restaurant in Sudbury ordered to pay nearly £3k for food hygiene issues

The Boathouse restaurant in Cross Street, Sudbury
Picture: IAIN DOUGLAS

The Boathouse restaurant in Cross Street, Sudbury Picture: IAIN DOUGLAS - Credit: Archant

A restaurant in a picturesque west Suffolk location has been ordered to pay nearly £3,000 after breaking food hygiene regulations.

Images from the inspection of the Boathouse in Sudbury. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Images from the inspection of the Boathouse in Sudbury. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

The Boathouse in Sudbury, set on the River Stour, pled guilty to four charges under the Food Hygiene Regulations at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. At the hearing, magistrates heard that Babergh District Council food safety officer Emma Richbell visited the Cross Street restaurant on September 15 last year following a complaint about hygiene standards.

Following the council inspection, premises and equipment were found to be dirty and in poor repair – with food at risk of contamination.

Blood spillages were found in a fridge, a large bag of mussels had no traceability information or use by date and was stored in a fridge, while the undercounter fridge unit was held in place with black tape – which came off in the hand of the inspector.

The failure to store potentially allergenic foods safely – such as flour and nuts – was of particular concern to the council due to the fact it could have caused a dangerous allergic reaction in a susceptible individual.

Images from the inspection of the Boathouse in Sudbury. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Images from the inspection of the Boathouse in Sudbury. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant


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The Boathouse, which closed at the start of this year, was fined £2,200 and ordered to pay more than £600 in costs as well as £100 victim surcharge.

The council said the restaurant was warned over its hygiene a year ago.

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Christina Campbell, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “This is not the first time that our food safety team found problems at the Boathouse. “A year ago we issued a simple caution, but the director did not heed the warning and I’d like to thank our team for their hard work in bringing this lapse to court.

“We will not tolerate low standards that put the public at risk and we can and will prosecute businesses that fail to meet them.”

Images from the inspection of the Boathouse in Sudbury. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL

Images from the inspection of the Boathouse in Sudbury. Picture: BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCIL - Credit: Archant

The restaurant has a colourful history after previous owners of the formerly named Rare Cow prompted a flurry of complaints when a mural of sea creatures was painted on the wall of an outbuilding.

Former owner Alfie Best, star of Channel 4 series My Big Fat Gypsy Fortune, defended the octopus graffiti in 2015 saying it “brightened up the area”.

No-one from the Boathouse was available for comment.

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