A red meat cutting plant in Birmingham has been fined £14,666 plus costs of £4,794 after pleading guilty to food hygiene offences at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 8 March 2019. The business was also ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge which goes to the court.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) prosecuted Asia Halal Meat Suppliers Ltd for failing to ensure that its operatives were wearing appropriate protective clothing, including hairnets and beard snoods.
The breach of regulations was identified by an FSA auditor on 15 January 2018 when an employee with facial hair was seen cutting and packing meat without protective clothing in the processing area. When the auditor began to take photographs as evidence the business owner moved in the way to prevent them from being taken.
The company had received previous warnings for the same issue in September 2017 which was detected during an unannounced inspection and they also received written advice following an audit in December of the same year. A statutory notice (RAN) was served on 10 January 2018 as a further warning.
Dr Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the FSA, said:
‘We take breaches of all hygiene regulations seriously and I am pleased that this company has been held accountable for breaking these rules.
‘Where food businesses fail to uphold acceptable food hygiene standards, we will not be prevented from gathering evidence to allow us to investigate and we will look to prosecute.’