Preston cutting plant ordered to pay more than £44,800 for public health failures

Bowland Foods Limited plead guilty to failing to ensure removal of specified parts of animals required by law.
31 May 2019

A meat cutting plant based in Preston, Lancashire has been ordered to pay more than £44,800 for failing to ensure the removal of specific animal parts which breached regulations.

An FSA unannounced inspection at Bowland Foods Limited in early November, found the plant had consigned meat without “specified risk material” being removed.

Inspectors found carcases and records which showed the business had not removed the material from animals over thirty months old.

In total, 33 carcases still containing the parts were sent to a meat cutting plant between 15 September 2017 and 30 October 2017.

Bowland Foods initially pleaded not guilty before accepting they had received the meat along with documents stating removal was required.

District Judge McCormack sitting at Preston Magistrates’ Court, gave the business a reduced £35,440 fine because of the guilty plea. They were also ordered to pay the FSA’s full prosecution costs of £9,384 and a victim surcharge of £170. 

Dr Colin Sullivan, Chief Operating Officer at the FSA said:

‘This fine underlines how seriously breaches of public health regulations are taken.

‘It is vitally important for consumers and the wider industry that regulations are followed and public health is protected.

'The FSA will continue to investigate and consider prosecutions to ensure regulations are upheld.'

The Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (England) Regulations 2010 require correct removal and disposal of specific parts of animals before they enter the food chain to reduce risk from brain diseases that cattle, sheep and goats are vulnerable to.

The most widely recognised of these diseases is BSE in cattle (referred to as ‘mad cow disease’), which has been linked to human diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).