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Ban for poultry farmer falsely describing chicken as free-range

a broiler chicken

A GLAMORGAN smallholder has been fined and prohibited from producing poultry on a commercial basis for five years for a range of hygiene and misdescription offences.

Martyn David of Forge Cottage, Picketston, Vale of Glamorgan, pleaded guilty to a range of offences under legislation covering poor hygiene and misdescription.

See also: Free-range egg output hits record high

During routine food hygiene visits to the smallholder in February and March 2020, officers from Shared Regulatory Services found live poultry intended for slaughter were housed in “filthy” conditions.

Officers found the food processing room and slaughter room and equipment were dirty and covered in blood; foods were not protected from contamination, and animal carcases and waste were not being appropriately stored or disposed of.

Mr David voluntarily closed and worked with officers to ensure improvements.

‘Standards lapsed’

However, in October 2020 standards had lapsed, with poor practices reoccurring, officials found.

Although Mr David had a documented Food Safety Management System and cleaning schedules, they were not being implemented.

When asked, information was not available about the traceability of foods, including where foods came from and who they were supplied to.

Between May and November 2020, chicken was purported to be locally sourced from Mr David’s farm and slaughtered and processed in his own on-farm facility when it was not.

‘Falsely labelled’

In October 2020, Mr David sold chicken that contained a label that falsely described it as ‘free range’ when it was not.

Mr David pleaded guilty to a range of offences under legislation covering both the poor hygiene and misdescription aspects of the case.

He was fined £3,500, ordered to pay £2,000 costs and a victim surcharge of £190.

Prohibited

He was prohibited from producing poultry on a commercial basis for five years.

On sentencing, His Honour District Judge Harmes emphasised Mr David’s failure to implement permanent procedures based on HACCP principles.

Cllr Michael Michael, Chair of the Shared Regulatory Services Joint Committee, said: “Mr David was capitalising on the demand for locally produced free-range food but was not implementing the systems to run a safe food business.

“It is fundamental that businesses think about what they are doing, how they do it safely and not mislead the public.”

No contact details were found for Picketston Meats for comment.