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New sentencing guidelines for food safety violations used in England

Thursday, November 10, 2016 23:17
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Al-Ummah Halal Poultry Limited in Barnsley, a large town in South Yorkshire, England, was sentenced under new guidelines earlier this week after pleading guilty in Magistrates Court to food safety related violations.

The company which operates a poultry slaughterhouse in Barnsley, was fined £22,000 after pleading guilty to eleven offences, including failure to:

  • remove viscera from poultry carcasses after slaughter;
  • prevent spillage of digestive tract contents onto poultry; and
  • comply with a Remedial Action Notice which was served regarding poor evisceration.

The company was found not guilty in relation to six other charges.

‘We welcome the outcome of this prosecution and thank everyone involved in bringing the company to justice, said Heather Hancock, who chairs England’s Food Standards Agency(FSA). “This case brought to light a woeful failure by the company to protect public health and food safety. Thankfully, no serious incident was caused as a result of their actions.”

“We are serious about prosecuting businesses that fail to uphold acceptable standards of food safety.” Hancock added. “This sentence sends a clear message to all food producers: having an effective food safety management system to avoid contamination is paramount.”

The Al-Ummah Halal case is one of the first of a small number of FSA prosecutions which have been sentenced using the new Sentencing Council Guideline on Food Safety and Hygiene Offences, which came into effect in February 2016.

IAl-Ummah Halal Poultry was found in 2013 to be employing eight Pakistani men, who were overstaying their visas, and a failed asylum seeker from Afghanistan.


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