The operators of Manchester Abattoir Ltd (formerly Cheshire Halal) pled guilty last week to breaching regulations and apologised for the failures.
Manchester Magistrates’ Court fined the abattoir £12,000, awarded the Food Standards Agency (FSA) costs of £6,115.92 and ordered a victim surcharge of £170 to be paid.
The series of breaches of meat production regulations were detected by FSA staff on 19 January and 19 February 2018 when they visited the site.
The charges included:
an incident of offal being stored above the minimum temperature requirement. and associated breach of a statutory notice;
a failure to prevent contact between the outside of the skin and the carcase of sheep during the removal of the fleece, referred to as ‘in-rolling’ and associated breach of a statutory notice
In court the abattoir owners provided mitigation that they had recently bought the business and were inexperienced in operating an abattoir.
They had ceased operating on a temporary basis to refit the premises and to replace some of the poor quality equipment in the plant.
They said they were keen to work with the FSA to ensure that there were no further incidents and apologised for the breaches.
Dr Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer of the FSA, said:
‘We take breaches of all regulations for meat production seriously and I am pleased that this company has been held accountable for breaking these rules.
‘Where food businesses fail to follow the regulations, we will gather the evidence to allow us to investigate and we will look to prosecute.’