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    Monday, 14 November 2016

    Glenview Foods Fined £3,000 for Food Safety Offences

    Although perhaps not the biggest news story to have emerged on November 9th, the £3,000 fine imposed on potato processing business Glenview Foods by Coleraine Magistrates Court last Wednesday was nonetheless a significant event in the world of food manufacturing.

    The case was brought against the company, based in Northern Ireland, by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council. In total, company owner Raymond Todd pleaded guilty to six offences, including lapses in standards relating to cleanliness and pest control.

    The Ballymoney and Moyle Times notes that, although six offences were pleaded to, only five were met with fines. The fined offences were:
    1. Premises found not to have been kept in a state of good, clean repair.
    2. Inadequate pest control.
    3. The articles, fittings and equipment which come into contact with food were found not to have been effectively disinfected and cleaned.
    4. HACCP principles were found not to have been properly installed, implemented and maintained.
    5. Improvement notices were not complied with.

    Council mayor, Alderman Maura Hickey, said in an interview that the council strives ‘to protect public health in ensuring that anyone consuming food produced by businesses within the borough is not exposed to any risk to their health. Businesses have a duty to comply with relevant food safety legislation and where they fail to comply, formal action will be taken.’

    Glenview Foods, which delivers widely between Londonderry to Belfast, produces peeled whole potatoes, chips, wedged, sautéed and diced potatoes. Its website claims: ‘our family have over 70 years’ experience growing potatoes’ and uses ‘specialist agronomy’ to enable them to grow ‘the best frying potato in Northern Ireland.’

    Ten years ago, the potato industry in Northern Ireland was ailing, according to PotatoGrower magazine. This year saw unusually late planting dates in parts of Northern Ireland have led to late harvests – although farm manager Derek Keogh claims that yields have been fairly steady, while prices for home-grown potatoes ‘have held up well this year.’ 

    James Stannard

    James has a Bachelor’s degree in History and wrote his dissertation on beef and protest. His heroes list ranges from Adele to Noam Chomsky: inspirations he’ll be invoking next year when he begins a Master’s degree in London.
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