Bosses of a family-run meat firm have announced they will launch a second appeal after a Crown Court judge threw out their first and dished out an even bigger fine for breaching “Mad Cow Disease” regulations.
Bowland Foods are facing a bill of almost £74,000 after challenging a smaller penalty imposed by a lower court in June.
The meat cutters were originally hit with a £35,440 fine together with £9,384 costs after pleading guilty at Preston Magistrates Court to failing to remove “specified risk material” from 33 beef carcasses.
The company felt the penalty was too harsh and lodged an appeal. But when the case came before Preston Crown Court, a judge ruled the level of seriousness had been set too low by the magistrates and instead increased the fine to £62,000, with an additional £2,319 costs.
Now the case is set to return to court with director Vicky Wood telling the Post: “The risk was 0.0001 per cent, so we need to take this back to appeal. We’ve never had any problems like this in 30 years and it’s pretty upsetting.”
Martin Evans, head of field operations at the Food Standards Agency which brought the prosecution, said:“This significantly increased fine further underlines just how seriously breaches of public health regulations are taken by ourselves and the courts,”
“It is vitally important for consumers and the wider industry that regulations such these are followed and that public health is protected.”
The case followed an FSA inspection at the plant in Ribbleton. Inspectors found it had sent out meat from 33 carcasses which still contained “risk material.”