One of Northern Ireland’s leading bakeries has been fined for selling underweight bread.
Portadown-based WD Irwin and Sons Ltd yesterday pleaded guilty to ten charges brought by the Trading Standards Service of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
The fine comes after a standards inspector was routinely check-weighing produce for sale in supermarkets in April of this year. It was discovered that 38 out of 51 loaves from two lines contained less than the 600g marked weight. In some cases the deficiency was more than 10%.
A follow-up visit to the bakery revealed no checks were made to ensure the weights of the particular loaves were correct.
The bakery was yesterday fined £1,500, plus £44 court costs, at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court.
Michael Murphy, Irwin’s Commercial Controller, said: the firm's priority was to produce the highest quality breads, which meet both consumer needs and are fully in line with industry requirements.
"We have invested significantly in our processing facilities and techniques to this end and are proud to say that in almost 100 years of baking this is the first time that we have experienced problems of this nature," said Mr Murphy.
"We were in the early stages of producing limited runs of a new product which contained grains and seeds. During the baking process, these ingredients unfortunately incurred more weight loss than was expected, causing the end product to be under-weight.
"We take this incident extremely seriously and would like to reassure consumers that we have taken rigorous steps to ensure this problem does not occur again. We have increased the weight of ingredients for the specific products, which, in fact means that they now exceed the required product weight."