From our seats in the Galleon Bar, we were quite clearly able to see the food preparation area and the staff within. Three people were involved in the unbelievable scene that unfolded in front of us, which, despite the potential repercussions, provided macabre entertainment. The actions could have been the stuff of a Food Standards Officer training film, of what not to do in a kitchen. Suffice to say, we didn't order lunch.
I imagine the cold food, such as salads, sandwiches, ploughman's lunches, etc. are prepared here. Hot food seemed to emerge from another kitchen - sight unseen.
Basic hygiene requirements were severely lacking and the safety of food served, questionable. At no time, over a period of about 45 minutes, were staff observed to wash their hands or clean any worksurfaces or utensils. Gloves, hats and aprons were not worn by anybody.
What the staff were observed doing was this:
. Collecting dirty glasses from the bar, fingers in the glasses, before immediately then preparing food with the contaminated hand
. Poking an ear hole with a finger before then taking a baguette with the same hand and preparing it to serve to a customer
. Passing a hand through hair and playing with strands of hair, whilst preparing food
. Using a cordless phone, stored in a trouser pocket when not in use, coughing over the mouthpiece and hand, before preparing food with the coughed-on hand
. Picking food from a customer's plate whilst preparing that plate to be served and eating it
. Taking sliced meat from a fridge container, cutting a slice in two, and throwing a piece back into the container; hands unwashed, knife used for cutting all other foods, not cleaned; worksurface, similar
. Using a cloth to wipe a liquid spill from the bar floor, without washing the cloth before or after, and later using the same cloth to cursorily wipe the coffee-making machine
. Cash till used intermittently whilst preparing food
I would be interested to read a response to my observations and trust that what I witnessed will not be defended; it cannot be defended. I hope the management may be prompted to retrain their staff and undertake a wholesale review of the establishment's food hygiene.
Suffice to say, enjoy a drink at the bar, take-in the undeniable atmosphere of the place but don't be tempted to order any food; not, that is, until things have changed at The Royal Castle.
- Also Known As:
- Royal Castle Dartmouth
- Hotel Royal Castle
- Royal Castle Hotel Dartmouth, Devon
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The award-winning Royal Castle Hotel is in the centre of Dartmouth with its cobbled streets, intriguing shops and famous restaurants and bars. Looking out over the River Dart, this 17th-century building offers bright, airy rooms, free Wi-Fi and a stylish restaurant. There are 25 en suite rooms, all of which are individually decorated. Many of the rooms have river views, four-poster beds and spa baths. Every room has a TV, radio and tea/coffee making facilities. ... more less
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