The Food Standards Agency is to close down Welsh meat plant Farmbox Meats.
The company was temporarily suspended from operating in February following a raid by the FSA in connection with the agency’s investigations into the horsemeat scandal but given conditional approval to open again in mid-March.
However, on Friday the FSA said it had decided to remove that approval. “The FSA today informed Farmbox Meats Ltd of its decision to refuse the business approval to operate as a cutting plant and cold store facility,” it said in a statement. “The business is entitled to appeal this decision, therefore the FSA cannot provide further details at this stage.”
It is understood the plant was closed over hygiene standards. Farmbox Meats was not immediately available for comment, but its owner, Dafydd Raw-Rees, told the BBC he planned to appeal and described the FSA’s decision as disproportionate. “They have made a big mistake taking on Farmbox Meats,” he was quoted as saying. “We have been unfairly treated. There’s a lot of companies still trading with lower (FSA) scores.”
The FSA and police raided Farmbox Meats as well as Peter Boddy Slaugherhouse in West Yorkshire on 12 February over concerns horsemeat was being passed off as beef products. Both companies were suspended, but the suspension on Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse was lifted on 8 March, with Farmbox given conditional approval to operate again on 18 March.