A COMPANY has been fined £25,000 after a metal detector test piece was found in a chicken and bacon slice.

Peter's Food Service Ltd, trading at Bedwas house industrial estate, in Bedwas, has been prosecuted by Caerphilly County Borough Council’s environmental health officers following a complaint received from a member of the public.

A spokeswoman for the council said: "The investigation revealed that on March 6, 2017, a Peter’s Chicken and Bacon Premier Slice had been purchased by the complainant which contained a hard red plastic object. On examination, it was apparent that the object was a metal detector test piece protruding from the filling.

"Officers visited the premises where an audit of the company’s metal detection test procedures was carried out. The investigation identified shortfalls in the company’s procedures and instances where the procedures were not followed by relevant staff, therefore enabling the metal detection test pack to leave the factory and enter the food chain."

The case was heard at Newport Magistrates Court on Monday April 9 and Peters Food Service Ltd pleaded guilty to one offence of placing food on the market that was unsafe contrary to Article 14(1) Regulation 178/2002 and Regulation 4(b) of the General Food Regulations 2004.

The company were ordered to pay a fine of £25,000.00, together with prosecution costs of £2,176.25 and £500 compensation to the complainant.

The spokeswoman for the council said they acknowledge the company were cooperative from the outset of the investigation and have since reviewed, revised and simplified procedures in order to prevent a recurrence.

Cllr Eluned Stenner, cabinet member with responsibility for public protection said, “Our environmental health officers conducted a thorough investigation and secured a successful outcome.

"In order to further protect consumers and public health, they also worked with the company to develop new procedures to prevent this happening again.”

For further information on food hygiene legislation, please visit caerphilly.gov.uk