A TEST Valley golf club has been heavily criticised in a damning report after health inspectors found "decomposing food" in the kitchen.

A report from the Food Standards Agency, who inspected Wellow Golf Club, Ryedown Lane, said a “major improvement” was necessary and gave it a food hygiene rating of 1 out of 5.

Inspectors, who worked with Test Valley Borough Council, discovered "mouldy decomposing food behind the chest freezers", adding the standard of cleaning throughout the kitchen was "poor".

The officer who carried out the inspection wrote in the report: "In many areas of service area food debris and dirt were beginning to accumulate on food contact surfaces, equipment and food containers."

Inspectors discovered in the raw meat and fish fridge there was "pooling liquid at the bottom".

They also found a "pack of chicken breasts past the 'use by' date applied by the manufacturer".

The packs of chicken were dated December 3 when the inspector visited on December 5.

The report said: "Food beyond the use by date is deemed unsafe for human consumption and must not be placed on the market. "Stock should be checked on a frequent basis and any out of date stock disposed of."

Health inspectors revealed sliced smoked chicken, a chocolate tart and a lemon meringue were stored in a cool room, where the temperature was between "11oC and 13oC, all well above the legal maximum of 8oC".

The report said: "Storing food in here unduly compromises food safety. The other fridges that can operate at 8oC or below must be reorganised and the ready to eat foods stored there."

The officer did note there was a clear sign on the door of the cool room which stated "this is not a fridge, so ready to eat foods must not be stored in here".

The golf club's kitchen equipment came under fire, as the officer found the "chopping boards in use were worn and cannot be effectively cleaned and disinfected.

"These ones must be removed from use and replaced/repaired."

They added: "The lid and hinges to the chest freezer were broken, making it difficult to close properly and as a result the freezer was icing up.

"The lid and hinges must be repaired."

A spokesperson from Wellow Golf Club said: “We are very disappointed and have issues with this report.

“We are meeting with the environment health officer next week to discuss the matter.”