Kentwell Hall owners 'distraught' over hygiene rating after inspection
PUBLISHED: 19:26 01 March 2019 | UPDATED: 19:40 01 March 2019
The owners of a stately home and popular tourist attraction in west Suffolk say they are "distraught" after a hygiene inspection found major improvement was necessary.
A routine hygiene inspection of Kentwell Hall in Long Melford by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council’s environmental health team found issues with cleaning and food safety management.
Officers inspected the tearoom kitchen at the historic building, owned by Patrick and Judith Phillips, as well as the kitchen used to provide food to volunteers and a trailer.
Kentwell, which is famous for its Tudor re-enactments, was given a one-star rating, meaning major improvement is neccesary.
A spokeswoman for Kentwell said Mrs Phillips had given up the day-to-day responsibility for catering and an independent caterer had been appointed to run the tearoom.
The caterer is no longer employed at Kentwell.
A number of issues were identified in the report, including large numbers of flies in the food preparation and storage areas, and ingredient containers not being kept clean.
Inspectors also found no food safety management systems in place, and there was no information available on allergens present in the current menu.
Other housekeeping and cleaning issues were also identified following the inspection in October last year.
A spokeswoman for Kentwell Hall said: “Mrs Phillips was distraught to receive the report from environmental health.
“Mrs Phillips had been responsible for catering at Kentwell for over 40 years and set extremely high standards and was used to always getting a five-star rating.
“Mrs Phillips had retired from day-to-day responsibility for catering and had appointed a very experienced independent caterer to run the tearoom.
“It came as a shock to learn that this person had not maintained standards. Steps were immediately taken to correct the shortcomings identified.
“The caterer was relieved of responsibility and is no longer engaged at Kentwell.
“Re-inspection shortly after the initial inspection confirmed that matters had been put right. We have a new cook and await with confidence re-evaluation once the tearoom is regularly open for the season.”