The business pleaded guilty to the offences at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 8 March 2019 and was ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge which goes to the court on top of the fine.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) prosecuted the business for failing to ensure that its operatives were wearing appropriate protective clothing, including hairnets and beard snoods during a visit by an FSA auditor in January 2018.
During the audit, 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.
According to the FSA, 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 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.”
In December 2018, baked goods manufacturer Coopland & Son was fined more than £150,000 for health and safety offences relating to staff members being exposed to flour dust.
Last month, Food Manufacture took an in-depth look at health and safety and why businesses should be investing in it. For more, click here.