UK abattoir ordered to pay £11,000 for hygiene offences
A Birmingham abattoir has breached hygiene regulations after carcasses on a rail system came into close contact with each other.
Birmingham Halal Abattoir Limited has admitted responsibility for hygiene offences and been ordered to pay more than £11,000 in fines.
The business pleaded guilty to multiple instances of failing to prevent potential cross-contamination between carcasses before their post-mortem inspection between March and April 2019.
The carcasses were noted to be too close to one another on the rail system – an issue known as ‘bunching’. This had reportedly already previously been identified by Food Standards Agency (FSA) officials who issued a Remedial Action Notice instructing the business to take steps to address it.
The FSA brought two charges for food safety and hygiene offences and an additional charge for a breach of the Remedial Action Notice.
The abattoir pleaded guilty to one of the hygiene offences and the FSA withdrew the remaining two charges.
At a hearing on 20 March 2020 at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, the district judge raised the fact that the company also had previous convictions for similar offences and concluded that culpability in the case was ‘high’ with a low risk to the public.
The business was fined £4,000 and was ordered to pay costs of £7,000 and a victim surcharge of £180.
Martin Evans, Acting Chief Operating Officer of the FSA, said: “This business was fully aware of the hygiene issue at its site which they failed to address on several occasions.
“The FSA will always aim to work with business first to help them resolve issues. However, where businesses disregard food hygiene standards we will take action to ensure that regulations are followed and public health is protected.”