Refrigeration supplier blamed for customer's fine

A food manufacturer fined for breaching hygiene regulations has blamed its refrigeration supplier for issues with the temperature at which chicken was being stored.

Stoke Chicken was ordered to pay more than £8,000 in fines and costs after falling foul of several inspections by hygiene officers.

The firm was supposed to cut, chill and package chicken at a temperature of less than 4°C, but failed to act when officials found the temperature was too high on numerous visits.

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The Sentinal reported that on more than one occasion the temperature of the chiller displayed a different temperature to the calibrated probe being used by Food Standards Agency officers.

Paul Kay, mitigating, said the company had now corrected the issue and ditched the refrigeration supplier it was using.

He did not name the company, but said: “One of the problems was that the business was let down by the company that dealt with the refrigeration requirements. They have now used a new refrigeration company and the equipment has addressed the difficulties with temperature.

“The company now takes regular temperature checks using properly calibrated equipment. The temperature was the only thing they were getting wrong. In the opinion of the FSA, overall the operation was well carried out.”

Magistrate Cynthia Tipper said: “We want the sentence to be a deterrent for others. It is important the public is protected.”

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