Hannah Leese - Food Regulatory Law specialist
Trimming Meat In Plant

Successful appeal of Remedial Action Notice RAN

Who was the Client?

Medium sized abattoir regulated by the Food Standards Agency (“FSA”).

What was the issue the client needed help with?

The client was served with a RAN requiring it to ensure that it presented carcases at post-mortem inspection “free from visible contamination”.  The client did not accept it had been correctly served and wanted to know what, if anything, it could do to challenge the RAN.

Why did they choose Roythornes?

The client was an existing client.  Roythornes have acted for this client and its trade association for a number of years.  We have vast experience (and have had a great deal of success) in challenging this type of enforcement action.

What have we done for the client?

The mechanism by which you can challenge the service of a RAN is a civil Appeal against the decision of the Authorised Officer (in this case the Official Veterinarian at our client’s plant who served the RAN) to the Magistrates’ Court.  Upon receipt of our Appeal in this case, the FSA quickly took steps to cancel the RAN. 

What has been the benefit to the client?

A RAN which is not appealed must be complied with. Failure to comply with a RAN is a criminal offence.  The successful challenge against the service of the RAN means that not only has the client avoided a criminal prosecution but moreover any reference to the RAN has been removed from the plant’s enforcement record. This means that it cannot continue to adversely affect the plant in terms of future audits, tendering for business etc.  In addition, a RAN tells the outside world that the plant has committed a criminal offence (and has breached the regulations). This blemish on our client’s reputation was also avoided as a result of the successful Appeal.

Why was the case important?

All Appeals against RANs are important to the client in question but the results of these Appeals can have more far reaching impacts.  We would suggest that the FSA will think more carefully before serving a similarly worded RAN in the future as they accepted that this RAN should be “cancelled”. 

What the client said about us

“We are very grateful to Hannah and the team at Roythornes.  They acted quickly to challenge this RAN and they got us the desired result very quickly and cost effectively”.

 

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