Landlady defends one star hygiene rated pub which had dog behind the bar

The Carlton Pub, Lowestoft.Picture: Nick Butcher

The Carlton Pub, Lowestoft.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A landlady in Lowestoft has defended her pub after it was given the second lowest food hygiene rating possible after a dog was spotted by inspectors behind the bar.

Sue Willgoss, who runs The Carlton on London Road South, said the pub was much cleaner than before she started to run it in August 2016.

She also said at the time the pub only served reheated frozen pies to customers with the kitchen only including a microwave and a sink for staff use.

She said: 'We were told in an inspection in March last year that the dog was not allowed in food preparation areas but was allowed behind the bar, but this time we were told he is not allowed behind the bar which he now isn't.

'The kitchen is not a kitchen. We have a microwave with sinks but it is not actually a kitchen.'

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She added: 'When I walked in here the place was a mess and it is so much cleaner than that now and it seemed he [the inspector] was on a mission.

'I am not sure it is all it is cracked up to be. We took over after the serious assault here and since then it has been really positive and it is really a thriving pub now.'

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The Carlton was given the rating after an inspection on November 9 last year, a freedom of information request revealed.

The official hygiene report said: 'On arrival at the premises a large dog was roaming freely behind the main bar. I observed the dog's tail touching the glasses.

'To prevent the cross contamination of harmful bacteria you must keep the dog away from behind the bar, particularly as you also cook in this area.'

Snooker cues, a dirty leaf blower, a drill and a grinder were also found in the kitchen.

The inspection also discovered raw fish being stored in the fridge for a customer next to ready-to-eat food.

A rating of one meant major improvement was necessary, with a reinspection needing to be paid for before the next scheduled inspection.

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