Abattoir fined

An abattoir - which claimed it had spent £1.3-million on improvements - has been fined for flouting food safety regulations.

Stockton Butcher Slaughtering Company was ordered to pay more than £5,000 after admitting six charges brought by the Food Standards Agency.

Magistrates on Teesside heard five of the charges concerned problems at the company's slaughter house in Yarm Road, Stockton. The sixth related to cuts of meat inadequately chilled before shipment to Smithfield Market.

Andrew Finlay, for the FSA, told the court that inspectors discovered the infringements during a surprise inspection on 12 July last year.

Walls in the boning room were not in the correct condition and, he added, the company failed to carry out immediate remedial work. In the offal room a hole had been left after the removal of a pipe. And in both rooms door frames were considered sub-standard.

Speaking for SBS, Simon Catterall claimed that none of charges affected the quality of meat from the abattoir. "Even the beef transported to London was sold after being properly chilled," he added.

The company, he claimed, had spent £1.3-million on improvements to its facility since 2004.

District Judge Roger Elsey fined SBS £2,550 for the six offences and ordered it to pay £2,500 costs.

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