THE company running a golf club which describes itself as one of the foremost wedding venues in Gower and boasts of using freshly prepared local produce has been fined more than £13,000 for having dirty kitchens and premises.
Gower Golf Course Ltd was hit with the fine following a routine inspection by council food and safety officers last November, which found its kitchens had not been maintained to a clean enough condition.
Fittings and equipment were found to be dirty, food was not kept in appropriate conditions, and wet clothes were discovered below fridges.
Prosecuting on behalf of Swansea Council, Felicity Lewis told Swansea Magistrates' Court: "The standard of cleaning was clearly very inadequate.
"Legislation makes it clear it is the responsibility of food business operation to ensure food is prepared safely.
"Food unfit for human consumption can have wide effects on human health if administered, and there were many incidents which gave very much concern to environmental health officers.
"Quite frankly, Gower Golf Club, which advertises itself on its website to use finest products and to be a leading venue in Swansea, has fallen well below standards on this occasion."
Other findings by the inspectors included the downstairs bar area being unclean, with rubbish and beer bottles stored for such a period that they had begun to attract fruit flies, a dirty floor and dirty basin area.
The function room was also found to be dirty, baking trays so caked in grease and fat that they could no longer effectively be cleaned and a pan left on the hob "encrusted in grease and fat" which could also no longer be cleaned.
Crevices on chopping boards were also so deep they could no longer be cleaned sufficiently.
In mitigation, Simon Goodman, on behalf of company director Adrian Richards, said: "They are not the most serous cases in my submission.
"I am not suggesting things were not pretty grim, but no one is suggesting anyone suffered ill health as a result of eating in these kitchens.
"The offences came about because Mr Richards has been suffering problems.
"In the weeks before the visit he had to write to the head chef stating his concerns. Immediately the head chef went sick and he has not seen him since.
"He could not sack him straight away because of procedures.
"He had been in touch with contractors to sort out the floors, who said they would come next month and Mr Richards did not press it.
"It was not as if he was doing nothing about the floors, but he did not press it as he should have done.
"In experiencing his problems, he accepts he took his eye off the ball."
He also pointed out it was the company's first conviction, that it had co-operated fully with authorities and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.
For seven charges, Gower Golf Course Ltd received no penalty, but for five others it received a fine of £11,400, plus £1,802 costs, and a £15 victim surcharge.
Chair of magistrates, Cliff Jones, said: "The public should expect the service they are provided with should not cause any harm."