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‘Poor paperwork’ leads to fine for dairy farmer
1:24pm Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
The court heard that Martin Jennings, of MC Dairies, had failed to comply with a Craven District Council notice issued in December, 2011, requiring him to make changes to operational procedure at the dairy and he had then failed to pay attention to repeated warnings.
Jennings, 32, insisted in court on Friday that no-one’s health had been put at risk and blamed poor attention to paperwork which led to the dairy being in breach of food hygiene regulations.
“It’s not that I’ve been selling raw, unpasteurised milk, nobody’s health has been put at risk. This is due to paperwork exercises not being properly dealt with,” he said.
Jennings, who took over the family business MP Jennings Dairy at Lower Lane Ends Farm in 2007, said he had decided in November 2011 to stop processing milk, but had been persuaded against it by one of his roundsmen who was due to retire. He said it was a poor decision that he had since regretted and apologised sincerely to the court.
Lisa Shepherd, prosecuting for the council, said as the owner of the dairy, Jennings was responsible for ensuring proper compliance with food laws.
In December, 2011 a health officer had identified a number of failures at the dairy during a routine food hygiene inspection.
“One of the issues identified was that Mr Jennings was unable to produce any sample results for cow’s milk pasteurised at the dairy,” said Ms Shepherd.
She said the tests were carried out to make sure processing and treatment of the milk was carried out successfully and that the milk met required standards. Milk that was not properly processed could pose risks to the elderly, pregnant women and those with existing health problems.
In addition, there were other faults which meant milk was being processed without any records or proof to show the procedure was being done correctly.
“Due to the potential risks to public health, a Remedial Action Notice (RAN) was served in relation to the breaches of the food hygiene regulations on December 21, 2011,” said Ms Shepherd.
But a month later, the council was told that milk was still being sold from the dairy without further processing.
Officers visited the farm again when they discovered milk was being processed without proper records being kept. Letters reminding Jennings of his responsibilities were sent in January and February 2012, and in addition, two roundsmen were identified as being supplied by Jennings Dairy in breach of RAN.
Jennings told the council that he had initially stopped supplying milk, but that he had started again in January last year.
Jennings, who admitted failing to comply with a RAN issued in December 2011, in that he supplied processed milk to a business that sold directly to the public without further processing, was fined £750 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a £15 victims surcharge.