The doughnut maker pled guilty at Melton Mowbray Magistrates’ Court to three separate food hygiene and safety offences and was ordered to pay a fine, costs and a victim surcharge.
Melton Borough Council was first alerted to an incident in April 2021 in which a complainant found a small piece of metal in one of their doughnuts. Krispy Kreme claimed the object was a piece of foil from packaging, a claim that was disputed and concerns raised with the Food Standards Agency.
Two further complaints
The manufacturer later admitted that it had received two further complaints of a similar nature and had identified that a damaged piece of equipment – a vari-mixer – was the source of the contamination.
No controls were in place on the line to mitigate this incident, such as recorded checks or metal detection.
Prosecuting, Tom Pickwell, senior solicitor at Melton Borough Council, told the Court that: “The council would expect a large national company to have appropriate measures in place to ensure the food safety and hygiene throughout the whole process of the manufacturing, including checks on all equipment.
“The fact that the vari-mixer was omitted from the checks does, in the view of the council, fall short of the appropriate levels and a suitable and sufficient safety management system. Although some systems were in place, they were not sufficient to deal with the full process which led to the incident and Krispy Kreme did not know how long this had been happening for.”
Magistrates said they had taken into account the quality of the equipment, the substantial risk it posed to any customer because of the sharp nature and size of the item and the serious injury that could have happened if it had been swallowed. They also accepted the mitigation put forward by Iain MacDonald, who represented Krispy Kreme and took that into account when sentencing.
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A spokesman for Krispy Kreme said: "We apologise unreservedly for this incident and for any upset caused to the affected customer. We fully accept the outcome and lessons learnt from this process, and appreciate the support and input from our Primary Authority, Surrey Heath Borough.
"Krispy Kreme are committed to high standards of health, safety, quality, and hygiene, and we have put in place additional controls that will help prevent an issue like this occurring again."
Krispy Kreme UK Ltd was fined £216,000 based on £72,000 for each of the three offences, with the Council awarded full costs of £4,255.30. The doughnut firm was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £181.