Krispy Kreme face £216k fine for metal found in doughnut

Popular doughnut giant Krispy Kreme have been forced to pay a huge fine after a sharp piece of metal was found in a doughnut bought in a Melton Mowbray store. The company pled guilty at Melton Mowbray Magistrate’s Court earlier this month to three food hygiene and safety offence and was ordered to pay a fine, costs, and a victim surcharge. The total £216,000 fine was based on £72,000 for each of the three offences.

Melton Borough Council was first made aware of the incident by the victim in April 2021 and has worked with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and other relevant bodies to investigate the case. When Krispy Kreme were informed of the incident, the company claimed that the object was just a piece of foil from the packaging, but this was disputed, and concerns were brought to the FSA.

The manufacturer later admitted that two other complaints had been made relating to metal being found in their products. Upon investigation it discovered a damaged piece of equipment (a varimixer) had been the source of the contamination. Even with this being found, no controls were put in place to mitigate the hazards that had caused the incident, like metal detection or regular and recorded checks of the machine.

When sentencing Krispy Kreme, magistrates took into account the quality of the equipment, the significant risk it posed to customers due to the sharpness and size of metal, and the serious injury that could have been suffered if it had been inadvertently swallowed. Senior management of the company expressed their regret in court and said it was the first time Krispy Kreme had been in court and had been asked to respond to a formal investigation.

The company used consultants to help with food safety compliance and claim they were told that metal detection was not needed. The case also involved Nottingham City Council, due to the city being where the new Krispy Kreme plant is based. Environmental health officers visited the plant in June 2021 and recommended that the company review the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan, especially in relation to metal detection. Krispy Kreme had metal detection technology installed in August 2021.

How could this incident have been prevented?

This incident could have been prevented if Krispy Kreme had suitable metal detection in place from the start of their food production processes. Also, more regular and thorough checks of the equipment would have almost certainly have caught the damage to the varimixer and the manufacturer could have ceased production before any metal contaminated the doughnuts, or at least have recalled that particular batch if they had already left the site.

Why choose FESS Group for your metal detection needs?

The Krispy Kreme case should act as a clear warning to any food manufacturer about the importance of having suitable metal detection in place in their operations. At FESS Group, we have extensive experience in developing metal inspection processes and systems for food manufacturers across the UK and abroad.

Also, we have helped a wide range of industries with food metal detection, from dairy to red meat and more, so we know exactly what to look for and help you put in place, so no metal gets past your inspection and to your consumers.

If you need help with installing metal detection systems in your food production discuss your requirements and book a site survey. We can then advise on the best equipment to use and how to include them in your manufacturing processes.

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