Director fined after watered-down spirits found at South Shields pub The Mechanics Arms

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A company director has been fined after a routine food inspection found watered down alcohol in the pub which she operated in South Shields.

Louise Carr, owner of Loubaz Ltd, which currently holds the tenancy for and manages The Mechanics Arms in East Street, South Shields, pleaded guilty to four counts of alcohol adulteration and was fined more than £700 by South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

The pub was subject to a routine food inspection prompted by an anonymous complaint of watering down of spirits to the Council’s Environmental Health Commercial Food and Safety Team.

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Inspectors carried out dip test samples on branded spirit bottles and the four seized and sent for analysis were all found to contain significantly reduced alcohol volume concentrations than that specified by the manufacturer.

The Mechanics Arms in South Shields.The Mechanics Arms in South Shields.
The Mechanics Arms in South Shields.
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Carr was fined £733 and ordered to pay £500 costs and a £73 victim surcharge at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

She was also barred from holding the position of Company Director for five years and was disqualified as a licensee for six months.

Cllr Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Community Safety/ A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council, said: “The bottles, which were branded Bacardi, had a reduced alcohol content, suggesting it had been diluted and that a number of the other spirits had been substituted with inferior branded products.

“This is not only misleading and a breach of trust, it is also a potential safety issue for customers, who rely on product signage to inform them of ingredients and potential allergens.”