A butchery firm is to appeal against a huge fine handed down by magistrates in Preston for breaking regulations designed to protect against Mad Cow Disease.
Bowland Foods Limited, based on the Roman Way Industrial Estate in Ribbleton, was hit by fines and costs totalling almost £45,000 in a prosecution brought by the Food Standards Agency.
It was claimed in court the company had failed to ensure that animal parts with “specific risk material” had been removed from meat.
Magistrates issued a fine of £35,440 - reduced because the firm pleaded guilty. Bowland Foods was also ordered to pay the FSA’s full prosecution costs of £9,384 and a victim surcharge of £170, totalling more than £44,800.
Managing director Jimmy Wood said: “We are appealing to the Crown Court and we are confident that some justice will be done on appeal.”
The court heard that the FSA carried out an unannounced inspection at the plant and found that it had consigned meat that had not had “specified risk material” removed. In total, 33 carcasses still containing the parts were sent to a meat cutting plant between September and October 2017.
Bowland Foods initially pleaded not guilty before accepting they had received the meat, along with documents stating removal was required.
Dr Colin Sullivan, chief operating officer at the FSA, said: “The 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 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 disease is BSE in cattle, referred to as Mad Cow Disease, which has been linked to human diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD).