Poultry firm’s transport licence suspended

Birmingham poultry firm Adam Halal Foods has had its transport licence suspended for two weeks following the discovery of illegal vehicle operations. 

West Midlands Traffic Commissioner Nick Denton found that Adam Halal Foods Ltd had flouted a 2014 decision revoking its previous licence – by continuing to run vehicles under another operator’s licence.

The suspension took effect on 13 November. Denton also curtailed the company’s licence to one vehicle indefinitely and on the day of the public inquiry (2 November). The licence will be reinstated on 0001 hours on Monday 27 November 2017, pursuant to Section 26(1)(h) of the Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995.

The reason for the suspension was that the company in effect operated without a licence after its previous licence was revoked by TC Jones in August 2014, and it continued to operate vehicles under the guise of a licence held by sole trader Mohammed Salim until it applied for a new licence in November 2015.

Denton said the firm’s current licence, issued in 2015, would most likely not have been granted if the illegal operation had been known at that time.

“I cannot simply ignore the very serious unlawful operation which took place before the granting of the licence, flouting the intention behind TC Jones’s revocation of the previous licence,” he remarked.

Ruling that a meaningful period of suspension was merited, Denton accepted the company had improved since the 2014 public inquiry into its previous licence, which dealt with driver falsification of tachographs, but said more needed to be done.

“A period of suspension will also give the operator an opportunity to arrange necessary training for both director and drivers. I have seen today that the operator still has compliance problems. Drivers are still driving occasionally without their card, albeit for short distances to a fuel station or maintenance garage. Tachograph calibration dates have been missed; driver defect reporting is poor; the operator failed to fulfil its undertaking to send my office a copy of the audit report by June 2016.”

He said the period of suspension would allow the firm to arrange training for the director and drivers to address remaining compliance issues.

Mohammed Salim, the operator who allowed Adam Halal Foods Ltd to run vehicles under his licence, lost his licence on the day of the hearing and was disqualified indefinitely from holding or obtaining an operator’s licence. He failed to attend the inquiry.

Adam Halal Foods was not available for comment on the issue.

In September, Adam Halal Foods was ordered to pay more than £68,000 after being convicted of five charges relating to failures of hygiene controls at its premises.

Following inspections of the company’s cutting plant and cold store in Birmingham by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on 31 May and 8 September 2016, Adam Halal Foods Ltd was summoned to appear before Birmingham Magistrates Court on 2 August 2017 on five charges. These charges related to the company’s failure to ensure that meat was kept at the correct temperature on its premises.

The Court fined the company £60,000, ordered it to pay the FSA’s costs of £8,043.74 plus an additional £120 victim surcharge, making a total of £68,163.74.

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