Food safety watchdog says Bernard Matthews cutting plant will not be prosecuted

The Bernard Matthews cutting plant which was at the centre of the avian flu outbreak earlier this year will not face prosecution, the Food Standards Agency has confirmed.

An FSA investigation has thoroughly examined the possibility that food waste at the Bernard Matthews cutting plant at Holton may have been stored inappropriately.

But the investigation concluded there was no evidence of any offences under the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005, for which DEFRA is the enforcement authority.

The agency also considered whether there was sufficient evidence to justify a prosecution under the Animal By-Products (Identification) Regulations 1995 or the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006, in relation to which the FSA is the enforcement authority.

In deciding whether or not to instigate a prosecution, the Agency applies the Code for Crown Prosecutors, which says that no prosecution may go ahead unless the prosecutor finds there is sufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction.

The FSA said: “We have carefully scrutinised and considered the evidence in this case and concluded there is insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction. Accordingly, we have decided not to proceed to a prosecution in this case.”

FWi’s Avian flu special report