Starbuck customers ‘disgusted’ after food hygiene inspection revealed ‘too many pests’

Coffee drinkers have been left horrified after a hygiene inspection found flies have been walking over open milk cartons at a Starbucks.

The branch in Guildford, Surrey, was given a two-star rating and found improvement was “necessary” when it came to staff’s knowledge of food hygiene and safety in its kitchen.

The inspector said they saw “too many flies” in the chain’s kitchen in White Lion Walk, SurreyLive report.

During the visit on July 29, the inspector from Guildford Borough Council took pictures of areas where food was handled with one showing the insects walking around the rim of the cartons as well as on plates.

The visit found that staff did not have a good enough grasp of how important food hygiene was, although the cafe has asked the council for a re-inspection and said there had been “significantly increased” investment in the store.

The report, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act, read: “There were too many flies seen in the food handling areas. These pests carry food poisoning bacteria and can contaminate food and food surfaces that they land on. Appropriate treatment methods must be used to eliminate these pests.

“It was apparent from discussions during my inspection that the level of food hygiene awareness amongst your staff was inadequate on certain important food safety matters related to their work responsibilities.

“In particular there was poor appreciation of risk of contamination posed by a lot of flies in food handling areas.”

It added: “In this respect staff should at least be instructed and have an appreciation of the importance of any control or monitoring points identified by your Food Safety Management Procedure for which they are responsible.”

The inspector stated that action needed to be taken “immediately” to resolve this problem as well as ensuring the kitchen surfaces were cleaned after a dead fly was spotted.

The poor rating means the cafe is in the worst 5% of food businesses in the borough while “formal action could be necessary” if the cafe does not improve.

In response to the report, a spokesperson for Starbucks said the findings were a one-off incident and they had asked Guildford Borough Council for a re-inspection.

They said: “The health and safety of our customers and partners will always be our highest priority.

“We are sorry that in this one instance, cleanliness standards at the White Lion Walk store in Guildford store fell beneath the high standards we always set ourselves.

“We’ve since taken action and significantly increased our investment in this store to ensure customers can once again enjoy the warm and welcoming environment we always strive to provide at Starbucks, and we are committed to ensuring these controls remain in place.

“We have also invited the inspectors back for a further inspection.”