Black Swan Inn in Fearby closed by council after inspection finds rodent infection and staff weren't washing their hands

A historic pub in North Yorkshire has been closed by council officers after serious hygiene concerns were found during a routine inspection.

The Black Swan Inn in Fearby, near Masham

The Black Swan Inn in Fearby near Masham was served with an emergency hygiene prohibition order on August 13.

The prohibition order follows an inspection on the 17th century public house by Harrogate Borough Council’s food safety team which found a series of what they said was potentially serious hygiene issues.

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During the routine inspection, the council team say they discovered the public house to be dirty throughout and there was evidence of potential cross contamination between raw and cooked food in both storage and preparation.

The council also said it was also evident that the premises were poorly maintained, had a rodent infestation as well as it being apparent that staff were unable to wash their hands after handling raw food.

These issues were severe enough to be considered an imminent risk to public health and York Magistrates Court subsequently issued an emergency hygiene prohibition order which forced the closure of the pub until the council is satisfied it no longer poses a health risk.

Coun Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said: "It is imperative that food businesses maintain hygiene and food safety at all times, even more so during the currently Covid-19 pandemic.

"The council’s environmental health officers work hard to provide guidance and advice to businesses in ensuring that they can operate safely.

"Any business failing to heed and act on such advice – which then subsequently fails an inspection which identifies a risk to public health – needs to understand that we will, when necessary, not hesitate to take formal action which could well result in prosecution."