A BANKRUPT landlady was told she could have endangered public health by having a dirty kitchen in her Ilkeston pub.
A presiding magistrate made the comment after hearing of problems at the New Inn on Bath Street despite four years of inspections.
Former publican Eileen Marson told the court on Monday: “I feel very ashamed of myself.”
She said she had battled to make a success of it but told the hearing that she was made bankrupt on January 5 this year.
“I am now part-time in the kitchen, four hours a day, and it’s run by my husband.
“I am deeply sorry for this,” said Marson, 51, who lives at the pub, which is owned by Punch Taverns.
She was fined £100 with a £15 government surcharge and must also pay the £150 costs of Erewash Borough Council, which brought the case to court.
Derby magistrates heard that Marson had received written and verbal warnings after four years of environmental health visits to the pub, beginning in 2007.
Mr Raf Ali, prosecuting, said: “All those inspections found a very poor standard of cleanliness in the kitchen and other parts of the premises.”
On May 20 last year, officers found more problems in the pub. Mr Ali told the court: “Work tops were dirty and greasy and so were kitchen tools and shelving.
“The extraction system was dirty and greasy, together with the floor and windowsills.
“The wash basins, cooker and refrigeration equipment were covered with food substances and had not been cleaned properly.” Marson admitted a breach of food hygiene regulations.
On May 26 last year, environmental health officers carried out a follow-up inspection and Mr Ali added: “There had been some cleaning taken place. This was deemed to be satisfactory.”
Magistrate Anthony Stanley said the penalty had been reduced because of Marson’s financial problems.
He added: “There is an old adage that you can’t get blood out of a stone.
“This is a serious offence in our eyes because obviously public health is put at risk.
“We have also taken account of your very limited means and you were declared bankrupt. Don’t let the fact of the relatively small amount give you the view that we do not think this is very serious because we do.”
Marson replied: “I understand.”
She agreed to pay £80 immediately and the rest at a rate of £10 weekly.