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Former poultry plant owner jailed for food safety breaches

By Joe Whitworth+

29-Apr-2014

A trolley in the evisceration room with waste materials from slaughter left exposed.
A trolley in the evisceration room with waste materials from slaughter left exposed.

The former owner of a poultry processing business has been jailed for four months and fined £8,000 for nine breaches of regulations.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Northern Ireland brought the case against Nigel Wilson three years ago.

The agency found decaying animal by-products infested with maggots and old and drying blood stains on the floor at Upper Erne Lakes Poultry in Newtownbutler, which is no longer trading.  

Warrant for arrest issued

Wilson failed to appear in court in 2011 but was convicted in his absence and a warrant was issued for his arrest. 

The evisceration room showing signs of having been used and not subsequently cleaned

Wilson appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court yesterday having returned to Northern Ireland from abroad.  

The agency said it took the case against the former owner of the plant because of serious breaches of food safety regulations in the poultry slaughter business. 

Wilson intends to appeal the custodial sentence, which will be heard at Dungannon Court on 1 May 2014.

The investigation was a joint agency approach, with officers from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) investigating the offences.  

FSA NI welcomes sentencing

Michael Jackson, head of food safety and operations at the FSA in NI, said the agency welcomed the sentencing which it hoped would send a strong message to anyone who tries to operate food businesses outside the law.

“The investigation found decaying animal by-products infested with maggots, old and drying blood stains on the floor and no cleaning process in operation,” he said. 

“The business was operating without all the necessary approvals required under EU Hygiene Regulations and turkeys had been processed without veterinary inspection as required by law.

Jackson said the agency was pleased that Wilson consented to the request for a Hygiene Prohibition Order which was granted by the District Judge in the court.

“This means Wilson will not be able to participate in the management of any poultry processing business similar to the one he ran previously and we believe this further protects the public and the integrity of the food chain in Northern Ireland,” he said.

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