During inspections carried out by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in January and February 2018, Manchester Abattoir was found to be in breach of several meat production regulations, including storing offal above the minimum temperature requirement and failure to prevent contact between the outside of the skin and the carcase of sheep during the removal of the fleece. In both cases, the business was also found to be in breach of statutory notices.
The business’ owners pled guilty to the offences in Manchester Magistrate’s Court and said they were keen to work with the FSA in the future. During the hearing, they showed they were inexperienced in operating an abattoir and had ceased operations in an effort to update the equipment in the plant.
The business was fined £12,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £6,115.92, as well as a victim surcharge of £170.
Dr Colin Sullivan, chief operating officer at 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.”
This is the latest in a series of enforcement actions undertaken by the FSA in recent months. In late March, Dunbia was fined more than £266,000 for the failure to remove parts of the animal that, at the time of inspection, were deemed specified risk materials. Earlier in the same month, Romford Halal Meats was fined £23,952.35 for carcase bunching, while Birmingham-based operators Asia Halal Meat Suppliers and Asia Poultry & Meat were fined more than £18,000 and £250,000 respectively due to food hygiene breaches.
The FSA and Food Standards Scotland are due to report on the progress made on recommendations set out in its meat cutting plant and cold store review which was carried out last year in the wake of several non-compliance issues.