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Boston catering company fined for providing unsafe food to local school

A Boston catering company must pay out more than £14,000 after a mistake when making up a batch of school dinners.

Boston Magistrates' Court today (Monday 14th August 2023), heard that Willoughby Foods Ltd sent out 75 Quorn meals in November of last year that should not have contained any dairy-based ingredients, but that a food handler had mistakenly added cheese to the meals.

Magistrates were told that the mother of a child with a milk allergy had ordered the meal after checking the allergen information on the order portal. A school meal supervisor spotted that the dish contained cheese and, being aware of the child's allergy to milk, gave them a different meal.

Willoughby Foods Ltd pleaded guilty to placing unsafe food on the market. The court heard that the company had co-operated fully with Boston Borough Council's environmental health team, and that it had reviewed and updated its procedures immediately after the incident.

Councillor Callum Butler, Portfolio Holder for Environmental at Boston Borough Council, said: "I'd like to express my sincere thanks to the school meal supervisor and the environmental health team for acting so diligently to prevent what could have been a very serious incident."

Passing sentence, magistrates said the potential for harm was very high, but gave the company credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity. They fined Willoughby Foods Ltd £10,000 plus a £2,000 surcharge and £2,269.40 costs.