Food firm fined £60k over effluent breach

Food firm fined £60k over effluent breach

By Adele Forrest | 17/09/2021

Food firm fined £60k over effluent breach


A CHILLED food manufacturer has been fined more than £60,000 after breaching its trade effluent agreement with Yorkshire Water.

Freshpak Chilled Foods based in Valley Way, Wombwell, breached the agreement five times between April and December 2019.

Yorkshire Water prosecuted Fresh-Pak pleaded guilty to all counts when its case came to Sheffield Magistrates’ Court on September 1.

The firm, which makes sandwich fillings, dips, pates, mayonnaise and egg products, was fined £12,000 for each offence plus costs of £2,092. 

A Yorkshire Water spokesman said: “The breaches were in respect of the strength of effluent that was entering the sewer network, with discharges stronger than were consented by the trade effluent consent. 

“The discharges did not cause harm to the public sewer network but they posed a real risk of harm [to the treatment works].”

In this case, the effluent was a by-product of food production and measures put in place to dilute it had not worked, said the spokesman.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused delays in the rare prosecution coming to court and only around four are brought on average annually, Yorkshire Water said, adding that there would have been a process of a written warning and/or a formal caution before prosecution. 

Freshpak, which supplies products to retailers, foodservice outlets and other food manufacturers, has been contacted for a comment.

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