Processors jailed for "wicked" hygiene breaches

A judge at a sentencing hearing has described as “wicked and deliberate” the actions of three men who breached meat hygiene regulations at a Yorkshire meat processing plant.

Yakub Yusuf, 54, his brother Ibrahim, 48, and Nabil Allibou, 25, had previously admitted breaches of the food hygiene regulations at Halal Meat and Poultry, Dewsbury, which they ran.

At the sentencing hearing (October 26) before Leeds Crown Court, Yusuf was jailed for four-and-a-half years, Ibrahim for 30 months and Allibou, who had played only a minor role in the business, was given a 24-week suspended jail term.

Passing sentence, Judge Paul Hoffman said: “This is a case of wicked, deliberate and highly culpable breaches of the food safety laws. You were hypocrites, too, because while offering Halal meat, which many would have taken as a guarantee of quality, basic rules of food hygiene had been completely ignored, exposing large numbers of your own countrymen and others to the dangers of food poisoning.”

Evidence had been given at the original trial that meat had been soaked in bleach to make it appear fresher. An inspector from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) also said she had seen a chicken carcase being nibbled by a cat. The premises were described overall as being in a filthy state.

At the trial, the two brothers had admitted the offences of putting animal products on the market without identification and failing to ensure premises and equipment were clean.

After the case in a statement to media Sarah Appleby, head of enforcement at the FSA, said: “It is good news for the public that the work of the FSA, Kirklees Council and West Yorkshire Police has resulted in this successful prosecution.

“This criminal activity could have put many lives at risk. Food hygiene rules are there to protect all of us and we are committed to helping local authorities take action when they are breached.”

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