A POPULAR village pub has been ordered to improve its hygiene following a visit from a council inspector.

The George Inn, in Vernham Dean, was visited by a food hygiene inspector on March 13, and a report released to The Andover Advertiser by Test Valley Borough Council shows it was graded as one for hygiene.

The pub, which scores 4.5 out of 5 on TripAdvisor, was found to have out-of-date food in its chiller and un-labelled food.

The report said that closing checks of stock to dispose of out-of-date food had not been done on several days, but had been ticked to say they had been carried out.

It said: “Staff must understand that to complete a document when a task has not been completed is an offence.”

The cleaning schedule for a pizza van had not been completed since January 18.

Staff were found to be freezing chilled meat pies in bulk, but not labelling with the date they were frozen.

The report said: “When defrosting for use, you are giving the pies three or four days in the chiller, however you cannot prove this is still valid.”

A home-cooked joint was also found in the freezer, with no labelling attached at all.

Various items were found in a walk-in chiller including a sealed tray of chicken satay with a use by date of December 3, 2018.

It was thought it had been taken out of the freezer, but no label had been attached and no one really knew what had happened.

The report said: “Food used/sold beyond its use by date may be a hazard to health due to the growth of harmful bacteria and unfit for human consumption. It is an offence to sell or expose for sale food with an expired use by date. You must check your stock daily and dispose of any out of date food.”

Other food was found in the walk-in chiller past its use by date by three to four days, including homemade fish cakes and fresh cod.

They were described as having “an unpleasant odour and were clearly unfit”.

The inspector was told that deliveries are left outside the kitchen if no one is available to accept them.

The report said: “This can leave the food open to environmental or pest contamination”.

The back-yard area to the side of the pub was described as a “mess” with barrels, broken glasses with spilt drinks and other food related debris.

The report said: “This environment can attract pests to your premises.”

The George Inn was instructed to make various improvements, including ensuring all areas are cleaned and “not neglected if they are hard to reach”; tidy up the outside area; ensure all frozen foods are labelled; and follow manufacturers instructions for all food.

A spokesperson for the venue said: "We have rectified the issues raised in the report and are expecting the EHO (environmental health officer) to revisit shortly, following which we fully expect to receive a much improved rating."