|Food Company Fined For Breaching Regulations|
TRS Wholesale Co ltd pleaded guilty in court
A Southall food wholesaler which illegally repackaged and labelled milk powder has been fined more than £15,000.
Ealing Council's food safety team launched its investigation in April 2013 after receiving information from the Food Standards Agency food fraud unit that TRS Wholesale Co Limited was repackaging powdered milk despite not having legal permission to do so.
Under European Union law, all wholesale businesses must gain specific approval before repacking products of animal origin. This ensures the origin of the items can be traced and monitored by food safety officers.
During the investigation, food safety officers also found that the packaging of the powdered milk was incorrectly labelled with an identification mark of another business, which created the impression that the product had been packed at an approved establishment.
Officers immediately issued a Remedial Action Notice which put a stop to the illegal repackaging. More than 3000 kilograms of the product was recalled and removed from shelves. The Food Standards Agency issued an alert to local authorities in England and to other countries in Europe where the product had been distributed.
The company, represented by a barrister, pleaded guilty in court on Thursday, 6 March, to two charges of breaching food hygiene regulations. On Thursday, 7 April, Ealing Magistrate’s Court fined the company £3,800 for each offence and ordered it to pay the council’s costs of £8,178.40 plus a victim surcharge of £120, bringing the total penalty to £15,898.40.
Executive director for housing and regeneration, Pat Hayes, said: “Our food safety team carries out all types of inspections to ensure businesses are complying with food regulation laws and to avoid risking public health. The council played its part in responding to national intelligence, taking swift action to safeguard food safety and provide the Food Standards Agency with information to alert consumers throughout Europe.
“It is essential for businesses to obtain permission for all types of work with food because our officers need to be confident that the origin of the food is safe and that correct procedures are being followed. This is a good court result and I hope it serves as an example to other businesses that may not be following the rules.”
Anyone with concerns about a food business in the borough should contact the council’s food safety team on 020 8825 6666, or via email at email@example.com
22nd April 2014