Meat processor fined £12k after serious food safety breaches

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The abattoir was found guilty of 11 out of 15 charges. Credit: Getty / Image Source
The abattoir was found guilty of 11 out of 15 charges. Credit: Getty / Image Source

Related tags health & safety

An abattoir in Greater Manchester has been ordered to pay a £12k fine after it was convicted of 11 food safety charges.

Higginshaw Abattoir Ltd, based in Royton, Oldham, was ordered to pay the fine after it was found guilty of charges that related to the dispatch of meat that was above the legal temperature limit.

The law currently states that meat must be kept below 7C and immediately chilled, with offal required to be kept below 3C, before it is dispatched from an abattoir. However, on various dates between December 2018 and June, sheep carcasses and offal that were well above the legal temperature limit were found loaded onto vehicles ready for dispatch from Higginshaw Abattoir.

As a result, the slaughterhouse was found to have failed in its duty to ensure that meat dispatched from its premises was kept at temperatures below the legal limit.

The abattoir was served with a Remedial Action Notice (RAN) to ensure compliance with the legal limits, but on four separate occasions following the issue of the legal notice the company was found still to be transporting warm meat.

Subsequently, the abattoir was found guilty of 11 out of 15 charges, including its breaches of the RAN. As a result, the judge ordered Higginshaw Abattoir Ltd to pay £20,000 to cover legal costs and the statutory victim surcharge of £170, as well as the £12k fine.

Commenting on the successful prosecution, Rob Tindall, head of operational delivery for the North of England at the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said: "This case demonstrates just how seriously breaches of public health regulations are taken by the FSA and the courts, and we welcome the court’s decision.

“It is vitally important, for consumers and the wider industry, that food safety regulations such these are followed, and that public health is protected."

In other news, nearly 200 people working for AG Barr are facing redundancy​ ​after the drinks manufacturer announced plans to overhaul its operations.

Related topics Food Safety Meat, poultry & seafood

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