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King's Lynn boss hits back on hygiene

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King’s Lynn Town Football Club’s chairman has defended the club after it was given a zero rating for food hygiene following an inspection in November.

Speaking in his programme notes before the club’s home game on Saturday, Stephen Cleeve said work has been carried out following the inspection.

Several items of new kitchen equipment such as a new microwave and a commercial electric oven to replace the old gas oven have been purchased.

Mr Cleeve said the oven had been his “main focus” since the inspection because the club could have been closed down if it was not resolved quickly.

A new cover for the club’s BBQ was also bought within seven days of being recommended by the safety inspector, according to Mr Cleeve.

He said: “The main beef of the hygiene officer was that the book that records everything was not visible.

“It is now, our chef had put it in a safe place and I had no idea where it is so this too is now rectified.”

However the chairman added further improvements are still being sought.

King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve (2195762)
King's Lynn Town chairman Stephen Cleeve (2195762)

“We do need to add a paper towel dispenser to the kitchen, plumb in a sink into the cafe which has never been plumbed in for 10 years and do a small amount of beading work, and again this work is in hand,” Mr Cleeve said.

An old sandwich toaster, which was reportedly never used by anyone since Mr Cleeve took over the club in May 2016, has been removed.

He continued: “These are the facts. We have a good relationship with the council and their hygiene department and they visited the club some months ago and spoke with the head chef.

“They gave us a list of recommendations which I told the chef to action straight away, he did not action them.

“I should have double checked that the work was done but for whatever reason I didn’t although I did mention it from time to time to him.

“I hold up my hands to that charge, but sometimes there are simply not enough hours in the day to do everything.”

The Walks stadium, home of King's Lynn Town Football Club (6663780)
The Walks stadium, home of King's Lynn Town Football Club (6663780)

After meeting with the hygiene officer, Mr Cleeve said he wrote down everything which needed doing before the changes were implemented.

Meat and bread are now in separate freezers at the club having been temporarily moved into the same freezer the week before the visit, Mr Cleeve said.

The food inspection report had said “urgent improvement necessary”, and that hygienic food handling, cleanliness and condition of the building, and the management of food safety were the three areas of concern.

Mr Cleeve also criticised earlier reports of the issue, writing: “I really feel as a country we would be much better getting behind communities and people instead of always trying to find an area of failure and then rubbing our noses in it.

“I hold my hands up to the mistake. I need to put in a system where I can get things double checked but please don’t knock the club.”

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