Top Kenilworth restaurant fined more than £25,000 after apprentice chef suffers severe scalding

Kenilworth's only Michelin-starred restaurant has been fined more than £25,000 after an apprentice chef severely scalded his foot while cleaning an extractor fan.

The Cross, Warwickshire's only Michelin-starred restaurant, has been fined more than 25,000. Copyright: Google Street View

The 18-year-old chef was working at The Cross in New Street in August 2017, and was told to clean an extractor fan in the kitchen using long-established cleaning methods.

But his foot slipped into a hot fat fryer operating at around 180°C, resulting in severe injuries and months of medical treatment.

Despite being employed by The Cross for over a year, the injured chef had not been provided with any health and safety training, health and safety information or instruction, or the findings of any health and safety risk assessments produced for working at height, using the deep fat fryer or contact with heat sources.

The 3 A Pub Company Limited, which trades as The Cross at Kenilworth, pleaded guilty to a Section 2(1) offence under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 at a hearing at Warwickshire Justice Centre in July.

The company was then fined £25,200 at Coventry Magistrates Court on Thursday August 16. It was also ordered to pay £5,900 in costs and a £170 victim surcharge.

Warwick District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health and Community Protection Cllr Andrew Thompson said: “Warwick District Council takes the health and safety of all of our residents very seriously.

"We work closely with businesses to encourage the highest of standards. We will always take enforcement action against businesses who fail to comply with the safety standards required of them and as a result put the health and well-being of their employees or customers at risk.”

In response, Andreas Antona, owner of The Cross at Kenilworth, said the restaurant was 'deeply regretful' at what happened and had 'accepted responsibility'.

He added: "As someone with 25 years experience of running restaurants without a prior incident, it is clear that we take matters of health and safety very seriously.

"We employed specialist health and safety consultants prior to the accident to advise on these matters and following the incident we employed a further health and safety consultant to review our health and safety management system. The recommendations made following that review have been implemented.

"We are considering our position regarding an appeal as we feel the level of the fine to be unduly high."

He also said the chef is currently still working at The Cross and hopes to complete his apprenticeship soon.

The Cross is currently the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Warwickshire.