Albion Farm “devastated” after breach of Food Safety regulations

A popular Saddleworth farm shop and café says it was “devastated” to learn a sample of its lamb mince contained a quantity of beef.

Albion Farm Shop on Oldham Road, Delph has been fined £1,000 at Tameside Magistrates Court ordered to pay £700 costs plus a £100 victim surcharge for an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990.

On March 28, 2017 a formal sample of minced lamb was purchased and sent for analysis.

It was found to contain 20 per cent cow DNA i.e. beef in the sample.  The food was falsely described.

On March 15, 2018 Hirst Family Trading Company Ltd, trading as Albion Farm Shop and Café, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Food Safety Act 1990, Section 15 1(a).

Laura Sneath-Hirst, owner of the family business, told the Independent: “We were devastated to learn that this sample was found to contain 20 per-cent beef.

“The reason for the presence of beef within the lamb mince was as a result of carry-over from the previous mincing of beef during the hour and was in no way a deliberate act.

“We would like to reassure our valued customers that we take our responsibilities extremely seriously and this is not a situation whereby health and safety was put at risk.

“Since learning of the sample result we have taken steps to change the way in which lamb meat is minced and sold and we are confident that a situation such as this will never arise again.”

Albion Farm Shop and Café were among a number of Oldham businesses prosecuted after visits by Oldham Council environmental health officers.

Inspectors visited Creamy Way, Ashton Road on February 7 last year and as well as discovering vermin on the premises they also found no food management system was in operation.

On March 8 at Tameside Magistrates’ Court a representative of Creamy Way Ltd failed to attend.

The company, which specialises in desserts, was found guilty of four offences Under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 Act and was fined £5,600 with a £170 victim surcharge and £1,100 costs.

A routine inspection of the Blue Onion, Henshaw Street on May 17, 2017 found mouse droppings on food preparation/storage surfaces, no hot water at the hand wash basin and no food safety management system in place.

Owner Michael Cattlin pleaded guilty to one offence of having inadequate pest control under and was fined £165, plus a £30 victim surcharge and £1,100 costs on March 8.

When inspectors visited Zamans, on Featherstall Road on May 8, 2017 they found mouse droppings on kitchen surfaces and there was also evidence of rats in rear storage areas.

The former owner Samru Zaman, of Lyndene Gardens, Stockport pleaded guilty to four offences under the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 on March 15. He was fined £165 with a £30 victim surcharge £300 costs

Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Co-operatives, said: “Business owners who run food establishments must comply with food laws or be prepared to face the consequences.

“We will not allow them to put the safety of residents at risk or sell produce that is not what it is claimed to be.

“Our environmental health team is here to help and if you do run an establishment and you need advice around food legislation please get in touch.”

Contact Oldham Councils’ health safety team by email: or call 0161 770 2244.

All Oldham food business ratings are on the Food Standards Agency website.


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