£10,000 fine following food hygiene investigation

The owner of Country House Foods trading at the Hundred House Hotel in Ruan Highlanes has been prosecuted for four food hygiene offences following an investigation by Cornwall Council.

Richard Maior-Barron, 52, of Ruan Highlanes pleaded guilty to four offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 at Truro Magistrates Court on Friday 15 February.

He was fined almost £10,000 and ordered to pay the council’s agreed costs of £1,500.

Action was taken after officers from the council’s public health and protection service discovered that "food products of animal origin" were being supplied by Mr Maior-Barron on a wholesale basis to other businesses without the legally-required approval to do so.

This was his own smoked cheese and meat.

Raw meat and ready-to-eat foods were being packed on the same vacuum packer, creating a risk of food poisoning, and contrary to Mr Maior-Barron’s agreement with the Council in August 2011 not to do so.

The council said that attempts to investigate the matter were "frustrated" by Mr Maior-Barron resulting in obstruction charges being brought by the council.

Councillor Lance Kennedy, portfolio holder for community safety and protection said: “The sentence imposed by the magistrates reflect the seriousness of this case. We always set out to support local businesses, but if they do not take the appropriate steps to protect the safety of their customers, ignore advice and obstruct officers, we will not hesitate to take formal action through the courts.”

Nick Kelly, Cornwall Council’s commercial food and safety manager, said: “Free advice and resources such as help with documenting food safety management systems are made available to food businesses within Cornwall and our officers are happy to work with these businesses to help them comply with the law. We are now working with Mr Maior-Barron to ensure that the appropriate food safety controls are being implemented.”

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