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Local business fined for breaching food safety laws

A nursery catering business must pay more than £5,000 in fines and court costs after an investigation by Wirral Trading Standards into food mis-labelling.

The Nursery Kitchen Ltd in Prenton was fined £2,300 and ordered to pay costs of £3,000 at Magistrates Court on Monday 26th November 2018.

Both the director Catherine Elliott and the business, The Nursey Kitchen Ltd of Prenton Way, North Cheshire Trading Estate, Wirral entered guilty pleas for supplying food to a nursery labelled as ‘dairy free’ when in fact it contained cheese. 

Trading Standards were alerted to an incident where a toddler had suffered an allergic reaction and required medical treatment in hospital.

An investigation revealed that two products of the same name were produced – one which contained cheese and one that didn’t. The wrong labels were applied and as a consequence the meal containing cheese was supplied to a child who had a milk allergy. 

District Judge McGarva said: “The failing was blindingly obvious in having two meals with same description which caused the harm and it could have easily been avoided. It was compounded by having no systems to check on the chef. This caused a serious failure and significant harm as a result a very young child was left uncomfortable for a period of time.”

The Judge also made reference to recent publicity of cases regarding similar incidents and that said “it’s a sobering thought what can happen".

Cllr Anita Leech, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "Our approach to food safety inspections is to work proactively with businesses to promote the best possible standards. However, there are times when formal action is the only justifiable response.

"We won't hesitate to prosecute when we encounter examples such as this where public health has been put in serious danger."

Charges were brought for breaching The Food Safety Act 1990 by falsely describing food and for breaching The Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 by supplying unsafe food.

The Company also admitted breaching a Remedial Action Notice served by Environmental Health Officers requiring it to follow its own food safety procedures and cool food quickly after cooking to reduce the risk of microbiological growth.

Anyone wanting to report a complaint about allergens or businesses requiring training should contact 03454 040506.