On Wednesday 23 July 2014 at Worthing Magistrates Court, Mr Jeremy Ireland of I & J Meats, Littlehampton pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, and was fined £2,100.00 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,525.81 and victim surcharge of £30, giving a total of £3,665.81.

[relatedPosts title=”Related Posts”]

  • Council: Arun District Council
  • Fine: £2,100.00
  • Costs: £1,525.81
  • Total: £3,625.81

Mr Ireland operates a mobile butchers shop in Littlehampton High Street and in Bognor Regis, under the name of I & J Meats.

On Friday 13 September 2013, the Senior Food Safety Officer for Arun District Council carried out a full inspection of the mobile shop following a complaint alleging the sale of unfit meat. During that inspection, the officer found unrefrigerated fresh meat in direct sunlight, further raw meat which was not under temperature control (+16.5oC) and which was in direct contact with ready-to-eat foods such as black & white puddings, saveloys and cheese. The same equipment was being used for both raw meat and ready-to-eat foods. There was no hot water for either hand washing or washing up equipment.

Mr Ireland was unable to provide a documented food safety management system. All food businesses that handle, store and sell fresh meat together with ready-to-eat high risk foods must ensure complete segregation by providing separate cutting tools, containers, display cabinets, work surfaces, scales, and in some cases separate wash facilities with a supply of hot and cold running water as well as providing a hazard analysis of the risks associated with handling raw meat with high risk, ready-to-eat foods. Harmful bacteria including Salmonella, Campylobacter and in particular E.Coli which has a low infective dose, could have resulted in the ready-to-eat foods becoming contaminated which could cause serious illness and possible death if consumed by an elderly person or the very young.

Cllr Terence Chapman, Cabinet Member for Environmental Services said “the public’s health is of the utmost importance to us as is supporting local business and we are working with Mr Ireland to ensure the food he offers for sale is prepared and stored in the correct manner”.

Arun District Council’s Environmental Health Service provides guidance and advice to all food businesses within the Arun District in regard to understanding food safety controls and those that are considering changing their food operation or making alterations to their premises.

Since these offences occurred the Senior Food Safety Officer has worked closely with the food business operator to ensure the correct steps were taken to reduce the risk and significant improvements have been made.