Prosecuted for illegal crab processing – several businesses were being supplied with cooked crab meat in the St Austell and Charlestown area

Gary Beynon, the Food Business Operator of Cornish Finest Crab has received a two year conditional discharge at a hearing on 11th January 2018 at Bodmin Magistrates Court. Mr Beynon was also ordered to pay costs of £4291.

In May 2017, Cornwall Council Food Officers discovered that several businesses were being supplied with cooked crab meat in the St Austell and Charlestown area.

Subsequent investigations established that Mr Beynon had been illegally operating a crab processing business for a number of years, without the required food approval to do so.

He had also failed to put in place a documented food safety management system, to undertake formal food training, to carry out microbiological sampling on the product and to correctly label the product.

Mr Beynon pleaded guilty to 6 offences including illegally operating a crab processing business without the required approval.

In sentencing, the Magistrates commented that they failed to understand how someone wouldn’t know that they needed to be registered or approved as a food business, particularly when dealing with a high risk product such as crab meat.

Nick Kelly, Cornwall Council Food and Health & Safety Health Manager said “This case highlights the seriousness of someone operating a food business without the legally required approval to do so. I would encourage anyone setting up a food business, particularly one handling high risk food, to contact us at the outset in order that we can provide the necessary advice. This will help ensure the operation and food product is to a satisfactory and safe standard”.

Sue James, Cornwall Council cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, said  “Every year, Council officers work with thousands of businesses across Cornwall to check compliance with legal requirements. While the majority of Cornwall businesses do comply, there is no hiding place for those who fail to maintain standards to protect public health, and we will prosecute. Thankfully this is a small number of cases.”

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