Abattoir fined for carcase bunching

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

An Essex abattoir has been fined for hygiene offences (stock image)
An Essex abattoir has been fined for hygiene offences (stock image)
Essex-based abattoir Romford Halal Meats has been fined £23,952.35 for hygiene failings at its site.

An investigation by the Foods Standards Agency (FSA) found the business to be guilty of failing to prevent carcases from coming into contact with others before a post-mortem inspection had been completed, known as bunching.

The offence took place on 23 July 2017 and followed a series of warnings provided to the site operators to resolve the issue.

Under EU legislation, the provision helps to ensure that carcases are not bunched together prior to inspection which reduces the likelihood of cross-contamination. Once a post-mortem inspection has taken place, a carcase can have a health mark applied and be placed on the market.

District Judge Gary Lucie handed down his judgment on 15 March 2019 at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court and Romford Halal Meats received a fine of £8,000 and ordered to pay costs of £15,782.38 and a victim surcharge of £170.

Dr Colin Sullivan, FSA chief operating officer, said: “The FSA takes breaches of food hygiene regulations very seriously.

“We welcome this fine for the unacceptable disregard of procedures that are put in place to protect consumers. It helps to send a clear message to other abattoirs that fail to uphold the required standards of food safety.”

Earlier this month, Birmingham-based cutting plant Asia Halal Meat Suppliers​ was fined £14,666 plus £4,794 costs for food hygiene offences while Asia Poultry & Meat, based in the same building as Asia Halal Meat Suppliers, was fined £240,000 plus costs of £12,824.05 for removing meat that had been detained by FSA staff due to rodent activity on the premises.

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