The operator of a West Yorkshire-based sausage company could be jailed next month after he admitted breaches of food hygiene and safety regulations in relation to the ‘’appalling’’ conditions at a barn in Mixenden.
Brian Wainwright, 45, and his 38-year-old wife Lorraine had been due to go on trial at Bradford Crown Court over a series of allegations relating to their running of B&L Sausages Ltd in 2012, but the case was resolved when the pair entered acceptable guilty pleas to various offences.
Although the case was not fully opened before Judge Colin Burn prosecutor Howard Shaw confirmed that there was no evidence of any actual food poisoning as a consequence of the breaches.
But he added:’’The risk was significant, very significant. The conditions at the barn were appalling.
‘’Your honour will have read that the officers found above the work-station a tin of rat poison on a shelf.’’
Brian Wainwright, of Lee Mount Road, Halifax, entered guilty pleas to a total of 14 allegations including one which related to his failure to put in place adequate procedures to control pests and prevent domestic animals from having access to places where food was prepared, handled or stored at Mixenden Lodge Cottage Farm.
He also pleaded guilty to operating the food business without the approval of Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council at the barn between April 1, 2012, and May 11, 2012, and at a different site in Hanson Lane, Halifax between August 2011 and April 2012.
Other offences admitted by Brian Wainwright included holding unsafe food for the purpose of sale, failing to ensure that food premises were kept clean and well maintained, failing to store raw materials and ingredients in appropriate conditions and failing to properly dispose of food waste.
He also pleaded guilty to an offence of misleading consumers by selling pork and leek sausages which only had a meat content of 47 per cent when the packaging indicated they should have contained a minimum of 60 per cent meat.
Wainwright’s wife, also of Lee Mount Road, pleaded guilty to two offences relating to her failure to provide information about suppliers of food to the company and businesses which had been supplied with products by B&L Sausages.
Judge Burn adjourned sentence on the couple until June 2 when the hearing is expected to last about two hours and he ordered a pre-sentence report in the case of Brian Wainwright.
Mr Shaw indicated that video footage of conditions at the barn would be available for the sentence hearing.
Judge Burn told the defendants that their guilty pleas would be taken into account next month, but he warned Brian Wainwright that he had admitted serious matters and one option was a custodial sentence.