Illegal meat cutting operator pleads guilty to 39 hygiene offences

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Gent Jakupi of New Park St, Devizes and Andover Road, Ludgershall pleaded guilty to 39 food hygiene offences
Gent Jakupi of New Park St, Devizes and Andover Road, Ludgershall pleaded guilty to 39 food hygiene offences

Related tags: Meat & Seafood, Food safety

A Wiltshire man has pleaded guilty to 39 food hygiene offences, following raids on illegal meat cutting operations by environmental health officers.

Gent Jakupi of New Park St, Devizes and Andover Road, Ludgershall, entered guilty pleas at Swindon Magistrates Court following raids in October and November 2020 on illegal meat cutting operations at his hand car washing premises at these addresses.

The court heard further details on Friday 8 October surrounding the serious hygiene breaches that led to the emergency closures executed by the Wiltshire Council officers at the time of the raids.

Officers described the filthy conditions and the elicit manner of the meat cutter activity were some of the most shocking they had ever encountered. Officers removed more than 4 tonnes of meat from the two sites.

Shocking conditions

Speaking at the time of the raids, cabinet member for public health and public protection Simon Jacobs said: “The conditions found at both these car wash sites have shocked our officers.

“They found that even the most basic requirements such as clean food rooms, a hot water supply, washing facilities, the control of pests and basic welfare facilities for food handlers were missing.”

Ashley O'Neill, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health and protection, described Jakupi’s actions as a widespread meat distribution operation that spanned the country.

After the defendant failed to make contact with previous customers, a national food alert was issued by the Food Standards Agency to warn that meat that had been supplied was unfit for consumption,” ​O’Neill added.

‘Illegal and dangerous behaviour’

"I would like to thank our Food and Safety team for their hard work and their key role in getting this to court, and we hope whatever sentencing is handed out acts as a warning that this type of illegal and dangerous behaviour will not be tolerated."

The case has been referred to Swindon Crown Court on 5 November for sentencing due to the serious nature of the offences.

Meanwhile, The Food Standards Agency has revealed that there is strong support for its proposed changes to the way that it plans to modernise the way inspectors carry out ‘official controls’ in meat plants.

Related topics: Food Safety, Meat, poultry & seafood

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