Kangs Solicitors has recently successfully assisted a food business operator which had been served with a Stop Notice in relation to the sale of foods which was followed by an Improvement Notice, as it was claimed that a number of breaches of Food Safety & Hygiene Regulations had occurred.
Subsequently, it was alleged that the Improvement Notice had not been fully complied with and written submissions were requested from our client prior to the matter being sent to the Council’s Legal Department for consideration as to whether or not a prosecution through the courts should be commenced.
Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors outlines the steps taken by the Team at Kangs Solicitors which resulted in the highly satisfactory outcome.
Kangs Solicitors regularly represents individuals, companies and company directors facing possible investigation and prosecution for alleged breaches of Food Safety & Hygiene Regulations.
For an initial no obligation discussion, please contact our team at any of the offices detailed below:
The Allegations | Kangs Food Safety Solicitors
Upon attending our client’s food business premises it was discovered that products were not being displayed as required by the Food Information Regulations 2014 and an Improvement Notice was served setting out a time frame for rectification of all issues.
A follow-up inspection, whilst acknowledging that some improvements had been made, noted continuing failure to:
- provide information, by way of, for example, displays or notices, advising customers how to obtain allergen information to assist them when selecting the food they wished to purchase,
- provide information on the allergen ingredients present in the food dishes sold,
- in connection with telephone and internet sales, provide an adequate procedure to provide allergen information at all times to the customer,
- demonstrate adequate procedures and controls to manage the risks associated with providing allergen-free food.
How We Assisted Our Client | Kangs Environmental Health Offences Defence Solicitors
Our client had been informed by the Prosecuting Authority that, in place of an interview under the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984, formal representations were to be provided prior to any charging decision being considered.
Accordingly, the Team at Kangs Solicitors:
- attended our client taking detailed instructions concerning his dealings with the Environmental Health Officers, the trading activity of the company, including the source of purchase of food ingredients and why the standard of service appeared to have deteriorated since a previous inspection which had produced a ‘Three Star Rating’.
- examined and considered all of the relevant documentation including email exchanges with Environmental Health Officers,
- advised our client upon his position, the appropriate course to adopt and the detail to be provided by way of Formal Representations.
These Formal Representations were meticulously compiled setting out:
- details of an updated matrix being displayed containing information in relation to allergens affecting over ninety food products,
- how the business was now based upon the HACCP principle,
- the food hygiene training now provided to all directors and food handlers, supported by relevant Certificates,
- the manner in which the directors had acted expeditiously to satisfy the concerns raised previously by the Environmental Health Officers,
- the fact that the company had no previous record or history of non-compliance,
- the level of cooperation and liaison with the Environmental Health Officers about the current investigation,
The Successful Outcome | Kangs Food & Health Offences Defence Solicitors
Following consideration of the detailed Formal Representations carefully prepared by the Team at Kangs Solicitors the issue was resolved by the company receiving a simple caution in relation to the aspects of the Improvement Notice that had not originally been fully complied with thereby avoiding a prosecution through the courts.
Had the authority decided to pursue a prosecution at court the company potentially faced very substantial fines and costs.
Our client was naturally overjoyed with the outcome stating:
‘I would like to thank you for your help, patience and expertise throughout this very difficult time for ourselves and the company’.
How Can We Help? | Kangs National Criminal Defence Solicitors
It is important for any business or individual facing any situation which may have criminal implications to seek expert legal advice at the earliest possible stage to ensure that the interests of those concerned are safeguarded as far as possible.
If you are experiencing any issues involving food and health safety and would appreciate early expert and robust legal advice please do not hesitate to contact the following: