19 February 1998
Second beef-on-the-bone man to be prosecuted
By FWi staff
A PUB landlord will be charged with flouting the beef-on-the-bone ban after environmental health officers – posing as customers – ordered T-bone steaks in his hotel.
Landlord Alan Cooper, 52, who runs the Bell Inn at Iden, near Rye in East Sussex, has defied the beef-on-the-bone ban since it was introduced at the beginning of January.
Two undercover health officers, a woman and a man, allegedly ordered T-bone steaks from bar staff, who mistook the couple for ordinary customers.
But when the steaks arrived at the table, the couple put them into plastic bags so they could be sent away for analysis.
They then paid the bill before informing Mr Cooper that he would be summonsed before local magistrates.
Mr Cooper is the second person to be charged under the new act after Scottish hotel owner and farmer Jim Sutherland was caught serving slices of beef-on-the-bone to farmers at a Prohibition Dinner shortly after the law came into effect.
Both men now face a possible maximum fine of £5,000.
Agriculture minister Dr Jack Cunningham announced in December last year that he would introduce the ban following advice from SEAC – the Governments BSE advisory committee – that there was a minute chance the disease could be passed to humans via cattle bones.
The ban means popular dishes such as T-bone steaks, oxtail soup, roasting joints and ribs can no longer be sold to the public.