Cutting plant fined for obstructing inspectors

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Mcoban has been fined more than £10,000 for not allowing inspectors onto its site (stock image)
Mcoban has been fined more than £10,000 for not allowing inspectors onto its site (stock image)
London-based cutting plant Mcoban Ltd has been fined more than £10,000 for failing to allow inspectors onto its premises.

The business, which specialises in red meat and poultry cutting, was found guilty of obstructing Food Standards Agency (FSA) inspectors from entering the premises on 4 July 2018 and 22 August 2018.

At a hearing at Thames Magistrates Court, the site owner was fined £9,000 plus costs of £1,000, as well as a £120 victim surcharge, which goes to the court.

According to the FSA report, the owner of the site told the court he felt harassed by the inspectors and that he had spent a lot of time and resources on the inspection visits. The FSA said it monitored compliance in cutting plants, using a system of planned audits, with additional unannounced visits. The frequency of the audits depended upon the level of compliance found at the site.

Dr Colin Sullivan, chief operating officer of the FSA, said: “The FSA has an obligation to ensure that cutting plants are inspected on a regular basis.

“Obstructing our staff from carrying out their role not only prevents us from assessing whether the food being produced is safe, it can also be an offence.

“I am pleased that this company has been held accountable for breaking these rules.”

This is the latest in a series of enforcement actions undertaken by the FSA in recent months. In April, Manchester Abattoir was fined more than £18,000 for breaching food safety regulations,​ while 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.

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1 comment

Tip of the Iceberg

Posted by Chris,

Fines for obstruction are just laughable. Only way to make owners understand and comply is to have immediate jail sentences of 2 years minimum for owners and anyone else involved in obstruction. Clearly there is lots to hide from inspectors.

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