Bad pint and the importance of Beer Training
There has been press coverage recently in relation to the unfortunate accidental consumption of beer line cleaner by a Spanish journalist who had gone for a drink in the New Conservatory in Leeds. The incident dates back to 2014 but the prosecution only happened recently.
The gentleman was served his pint by an inexperienced member of staff who had not been properly trained. The practice at the premises was to turn the beer signs on the pumps around to indicate the lines were being cleaned. Unfortunately, this particular member of staff was unaware of the practice and had therefore not done so.
The gentleman in question had to have his oesophagus removed with a £20,000 fine being meted out to the offender.
It is unfortunate that the process of cleaning the lines which deliver beer to our glasses involves the use of such toxic and therefore dangerous chemicals and as a result it is imperative to have bulletproof preventative systems in place to protect customers from injury and also operators from potential consequences under both Food Safety and Health & Safety Legislation.
The following would be a good starting point:
Following recent changes in legislation the fine levels have risen in respect of Health & Safety and Food Safety offences. The vast majority of fines are now unlimited in the Magistrates Court as they were in any event in the Crown Court. Incidents involving serious injury such as this may well find themselves in the Crown Court especially where large companies are involved and the court feels that it needs to “send a message to the directors”.
In addition to the financial consequences and of course a criminal record the reputational damage caused by adverse publicity in situations such as this cannot easily be quantified.