Welsh company fined over frozen meat mislabelling

A Welsh meat supplier has been fined £15,000 for storing frozen meat that was past its use-by-date by as much as three years.

The BBC reported that Douglas Willis Ltd from Cwmbran, South Wales, pleaded guilty to 12 charges of mislabelling of meat products and admitted to freezing products without noting the date it was frozen. This was considered by the judge at Caerphilly Magistrates’ Court to be “hazardous” if it was to enter the food chain.

Douglas Willis Ltd was first charged in 2011 after inspectors found frozen meat products past their use-by-date in 2010, but the case was dismissed after it was judged that frozen meat products did not pose a risk to health. After an appeal by the council, the Supreme Court ruled that the prosecution did not have to prove the meat was dangerous - only that it was not labelled correctly - and so a retrial was ordered.

The company employs 41 people in Cwmbran and had a £7.1m turnover last year. It faces a £27,000 bill, comprising a £15,000 victim surcharge and £12,000 in legal fees.

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