Mevagissey pub landlord fined for refusing to reveal origins of crab meat

Refusing to reveal where crab meat which was on sale to customers of the Ship Inn in Mevagissey had come from has landed the landlord with a bill of more than £3,500.

Lee Young, 58 of the Ship Inn, Mevagissey, received an £800 fine and was ordered to pay Council costs of £2,731 after he pleaded guilty to obstruction and failing to ensure adequate labelling to facilitate traceability at Bodmin Magistrates Court on 6 September.

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During the hearing, magistrates heard that during a routine food inspection in June this year, food officers from Cornwall Council discovered unlabelled frozen and chilled cooked white crab meat which had come from an unknown source. On asking Mr Young for information on his supplier, he refused to provide any information.

Customers place their trust in food businesses and need to be able to have confidence that the food they eat is safe and has been manufactured in hygienic conditions. This is why it’s very important that food businesses can trace the origins of the products they sell, explained Nick Kelly from Cornwall Council’s Neighbourhoods and Public Protection team.

“There are strict rules in place around selling food to members of the public – and for good reason,” he said. “Food operators need to be able to demonstrate they know where the food has come from, if it has been stored correctly before arriving at their business and if it has come into contact with any other food products. Failure to have this information could, ultimately have devastating consequences for customers – from food poisoning to a fatal allergic reaction.”

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for environment and public protection, said: “Every year, the Council’s officers work with thousands of businesses across Cornwall to help them to understand and meet regulatory requirements. Whilst the majority of Cornwall's businesses do cooperate and comply, there is no hiding place for those who refuse to work with us to protect public health. Council officers will prosecute those who intentionally obstruct their work and put food safety at risk. Thankfully such situations arise only in a very small number of cases.”