26/04/23

Delighted Client | Prosecution Avoided | Food Safety

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Kang Solicitors has recently successfully represented a businessman, who, alongside his company, jointly faced allegations of breaches of The Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.

Sukhdip Randhawa outlines the allegations and the steps taken to achieve this successful outcome.

 The Environmental and Food Safety Team at Kangs Solicitors regularly represents individuals and businesses engaged in the production and distribution of food products, facing Investigations into and Prosecutions arising from alleged breaches of Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations.

We act for clients ranging from national chain operators to small independent traders throughout England and Wales providing expert advice and guidance in relation to all aspects of the complex laws and regulations governing food safety and hygiene.

For an initial no obligation discussion, please contact our team at any of the offices detailed
below:

0207 936 6396

0121 449 9888

0161 817 5020

07989 521210

London

Birmingham

Manchester

24 Hours number

The Circumstances

During an inspection of our client’s business premises on 11 August 2022 the Environmental Officers discovered that:              

  • meat being advertised as ‘lamb products’ contained meat other than lamb and
  • having described food as being ‘milk free’, it was found to contain milk

with the result that food products were being sold which were not as described and which, potentially, inter alia, may have caused harm to consumers.

How We Assisted Our Clients

Following receipt by our businessman client of a formal letter inviting him to attend an Interview under Caution concerning issues found at his company’s trading premises, the Team at Kangs Solicitors requested and obtained pre-interview details of the questions to be put to our client, thereby enabling us to assist him in the preparation of his detailed Response.

When preparing such Response, and by way of our clients’ defence preparation, the Team at Kangs Solicitors:

  • examined in detail all of the case papers,
  • attended our client taking his detailed instructions as to how the unsatisfactory circumstances arose and advising him upon the appropriate course to adopt in order to oppose the allegations,
  • examined invoices and emails provided by our client which confirmed that he had asked his wholesaler to only supply lamb products,
  • examined and discussed with our client changes that had been implemented since the Investigation (such as updating of the allergen matrix and signage) in order to prevent any repetition of the events leading to the Investigation,
  • collated and bundled for the assistance of the council all of our clients’ documentary evidence of the changes which had been effected including Training Records for each member of staff

All of the information gathered by the Team at Kangs Solicitors was carefully produced in detail in answer to the comprehensive Questions presented by the council.

The Successful Outcome

Upon considering the Detailed Representations submitted by the Team at Kangs Solicitors, the council accepted that effective steps had been taken by our client and his company to ensure future compliance with the Regulations.

The council recommended that:

  • when purchasing produce, labels and all specifications from the supplier should be carefully checked to ensure that the products received were exactly as ordered and  
  • written records of Orders and Purchases should be maintained and implementing a form of Supply Contract incorporating required Specifications, should be considered.

In all of the circumstances, the council decided that the Investigation could be satisfactorily resolved simply by way of the issue of a Warning Letter. 

Had our clients been convicted for the offences being investigated the potential penalties would have ranged from an unlimited fine to up to two years imprisonment. 

Clearly, our client was delighted with this highly successful result achieved on behalf of himself and his company.

How Can We Help?

 As can be seen from the above, it is imperative that any business or individual invited to attend an Interview of any nature with potential criminal implications should seek immediate expert legal advice to ensure that the status quo of those concerned is preserved as far as possible in all the circumstances.

We are pleased to assist clients facing potential criminal proceedings of any nature, including those in  relation to Food Safety, Health and Environmental Investigations throughout England and Wales.

Please do not hesitate to contact any of our team who will be able to provide you with the advice and guidance required.

Contact:

Amandeep Murria

Amandeep Murria

Email Amandeep

0121 449 9888

020 7936 6396

0161 817 5020

Helen Kangs 0491 BW

Helen Holder

Email Helen

0121 449 9888

020 7936 6396

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