Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Suspect meat process plant shut down after raid
Caterers and other businesses have been urged to destroy any meat they have bought from a suspected illegal processing plant in Bradford.
The warning followed a multi-agency raid yesterday at West Yorkshire Lamb, Beef and Poultry Ltd, Bowling Back Lane, in which poultry was seized.
The raid involved the Food Standards Agency, Bradford Council environmental health officers and the Home Office Immigration Enforcement.
A Council spokesman said: “Any businesses that have bought meat from West Yorkshire Lamb, Beef and Poultry Ltd, Unit 2, Iron Works Park, Bowling Back Lane, Bradford should destroy this meat as it has not been produced in hygienic premises.”
Food safety officers at the Council have obtained an order from Bradford and Keighley Magistrates for the seized poultry to be condemned and an Emergency Prohibition Notice has been served for the premises to remain closed until such time that it meets legal requirements.
The business could also face a £50,000 fine after five suspected illegal workers were discovered by immigration officers and arrested.
Wholesale meat cutting plants must be approved by the Food Standards Agency and if they are not, the local authority environmental health department has to take action.
Retailers and caterers must ensure that they obtain their meat supplies from either an approved meat cutting plant or from a butcher registered with the local authority.
Councillor Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council’s executive member for environment and sport, said: “Bradford Council’s environmental health officers are working hard to ensure that the safety of the public is not put at risk.
“Businesses which buy wholesale meat must have the confidence that the premises where that meat is prepared is hygienic, meets all the standards required and is properly registered.
“We will continue to work with our partners in other agencies to ensure that we will close down any unlicensed businesses of this type and prosecute those responsible.”
The suspected illegal workers were three Afghanis, aged 19, 26 and 38. Two are suspected failed asylum seekers, and one is suspected of entering the UK illegally.
Two men from Pakistan were also arrested. A 19-year-old is suspected of working in breach of his student visa and a 25-year-old is a suspected overstayer.
All five remained in custody last night for questioning.
The business owners have been issued with a civil penalty notice for employing the men, meaning they are liable for a fine of up to £10,000 per illegal worker unless evidence is provided that the correct pre-employment checks were carried out, such as seeing a passport or Home Office document.
Acting assistant director Julie Curle, of the Home Office’s Yorkshire and Humber Immigration and Enforcement Team, said: “Our teams carry out visits like this in West Yorkshire almost every day, with more planned in the future.
“Illegal working has a serious impact on communities, undermining legitimate businesses and taking jobs from those who are genuinely allowed to work.
“I would urge members of the public with information about suspected immigration abuse to get in touch.”
- Businesses concerned about any meat that they have purchased have been urged to contact the Council’s Food Safety Team on (01274) 431000.