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UK meat processor found guilty of cold chain violation

London, UK: A meat processing company has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of failing to keep meat chilled throughout the food chain.  A C Hopkins, taken to court by the UK Food Standards Agency, was found guilty of an offence under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 relating to an allegation that the company failed to ensure that pig carcasses were immediately chilled in the slaughterhouse.

When a consignment of pig carcasses was delivered to a company in London, 12 were found to exceed 7°C. European Union Hygiene Regulations require meat to be kept at no more than 7°C and kept at that temperature during transport.

“The meat ‘cold chain’ always needs to be maintained – this means keeping meat at the correct temperature throughout storage and transport.  If it is broken, and the temperature of meat is allowed to rise, dangerous pathogens such as E.coli O157 can grow,” said Food Standards Agency chief executive Tom Smith.

The company will be sentenced in April.