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HomeDairyCo-op fined €40k for food law breaches
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Co-op fined €40k for food law breaches

A judge has ordered Arrabawn Co-Operative Society to pay €40,000 for food law breaches.

The co-op – which manufactures and sells dairy products – was convicted and fined in court on Thursday, November 4th, 2021.

It agreed to pay the FSAI’s legal costs and a contribution to the investigation costs.

A judge also convicted and fined a former quality manager for the company €6,500.

The FSAI brought the case after receipt of a protected disclosure in August 2020.

This resulted in an FSAI-led investigation in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

The investigation found that documents had been illegally forged or altered.

They discovered that documents were then provided to business customers, third-party auditors, and FSAI and DAFM authorised officers.

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The breaches of food law of which Arrabawn Co-Operative Society Limited pleaded guilty include:

  • Two charges of possessing forged or altered documents relating to testing of pasteurised milk;
  • Possessing forged documents relating to testing and calibration records
  • Also, possessing forged documents relating to packaging integrity and water treatment;
  • Failing to ensure that food handlers were adequately supervised and instructed and/or trained in food hygiene matters;
  • Also, two charges of failing to comply with microbiological criteria for Enterobacteriaceae in pasteurised milk;
  • Lastly, supplying inaccurate information concerning the folic acid content of milk.
Abide by food law

Speaking following the court case, Dr Pamela Byrne, CEO, FSAI, said:

“This court decision reinforces the legal obligation that all food businesses must abide by food law in place to protect consumers’ health and interests.”

“The law requires that food businesses must provide accurate documentation in relation to the food safety practices in their business and that their teams are properly trained and adequately supervised.”

“Also, customers must have confidence in their food suppliers, certain in the knowledge that the food they are purchasing is safe and trustworthy.”

She highlighted the FSAI’s role in:

  • Protecting consumers;
  • Raising compliance through partnership, science, and food law enforcement.

Read more court cases.

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