Global Foods Ltd Fined £120 000
A Cardiff company – Global Foods Ltd – has been fined £120 000 at Cardiff Magistrates Court yesterday.
The wholesaler, which has a food hygiene rating of 1, was prosecuted by Cardiff City Council for delivering ‘high risk’ food to a business in a vehicle that wasn’t refrigerated. This followed a previous legal notice served on the company for the same offence.
The issue came to the Council’s attention in September 2014 when a complaint was received that food such as ham and cheese were being transported in vehicles that were not refrigerated. An investigation took place and a Remedial Action Notice was served on the company, placing a requirement on them to ensure that all their drivers had temperature control equipment in their vehicles to ensure that all food delivered was transported correctly.
A follow up inspection took place within 14 days by the local authority and the company was found to be complying with the measures imposed on them through the legal notice.
The court heard that on December 9, 2015, the company breached the ‘Remedial Action Notice’ when an Environmental Health Officer was visiting a takeaway in Pentrebane, Cardiff.
The council officer saw a Global Foods Ltd van delivering food to the takeaway and took it upon herself to check both the cooked and uncooked meat being transported in the vehicle. Meat products were not refrigerated and the driver didn’t have any temperature control equipment on the vehicle.
In court yesterday, Global Foods Ltd claimed that the wrong delivery truck was loaded and the error occurred because of driver error.
In 2016, Global Foods Ltd had an annual turnover of £66 million, with a profit before tax of nearly £1.9 million.
District Judge Bodfan Jenkins questioned why a company such as this doesn’t have systems in place to ensure a worker doesn’t load the wrong van and questioned whether ‘adequate measures are in place which is recognised by the industry.’
Tim Petrides from Shanahans Solicitors, defending Global Foods Ltd, explained to the court that, “lessons have been learned since the incident in question and accepted that it wasn’t acceptable.”
He explained, “The company has taken a lot of preventative steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen again and that procedures have changed.”
Summing up the case District Judge Bodfan Jenkins, said: “The defence hasn’t provided any evidence that the driver in question on December 9, 2015 had been sufficiently trained…I have considered the guidelines in sentencing, fairly and proportionately and have ensured that it is sufficiently substantial to have a real impact to drive home the message to shareholders and management so they uphold the law.”
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