A wholesaler who illegally repackaged powdered milk has been slapped with a fine of more than £15,000 ($25,200, €18,300) by a British court.
Southall, London-based TRS Wholesale Co Limited, which pleaded guilty to two charges of breaching UK food hygiene regulations, was ordered to pay a total of £15,598.40 by Ealing Magistrate’s Court earlier this month.
The penalty included a fine of £3,800 ($6,400, €4,600) of each of the two offences, costs of more than £8,000 ($13,500, €9,750), and a victim surcharge of £120 ($200, €145).
Under European Union (EU) law, wholesale businesses must gain specific approval before repackaging products of animal origin.The investigation, conducted by Ealing Council, began in April 2013 when the UK Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) discovered that TRS Wholesale was repackaging powdered milk without the necessary permission
Following the discovery, a Remedial Action Notice, which brought the illegal practices to halt, was issued to TRS Wholesale.
A recall of TRS brand Pure Milk Powder in 400g and 1kg variations “due to the product being repackaged in an unapproved establishment” followed, during which more than 3000kg of repackaged TRS Pure Milk Powder was withdrawn from the market.
The subsequent investigation also found that the illegally repackaged powdered milk had been “incorrectly labelled with an identification mark of another business.”
According to Ealing Council, this “created the impression that the product had been packed at an approved establishment.”
Commenting, Pat Hayes, executive director for housing and regeneration at Ealing Council, said that the Ealing Magistrate’s Court ruling should serve as an “example to other businesses that may not be following the rules.”
“It is essential for businesses to obtain permission for all types of work with food because our officers need to be confident that the origin of the food is safe and that correct procedures are being followed,” said Hayes.
DairyReporter.com approached TRS Wholesale regarding the decision, but no one from the firm was available to comment prior to publication.