Award-winning Derbyshire butcher 'working hard to build business back up' in wake of food hygiene breach court case

The son of a Derbyshire butcher who was banned from running his own shops by a judge at Nottingham Crown Court for breaching a raft of food hygiene regulations has spoken out.

By Andy Done-Johnson
Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 3:13 pm

George Bowring took over the Bowring Butchers chain two years ago after his father Robert stepped back from the business.

They have stores in Chesterfield, Shirebrook, Bolsover, Mansfield and Mansfield Woodhouse.

The news came following an investigation by Mansfield District Council’s Environmental Health team, which ultimately led to Robert Bowring being banned from running his own stores by a judge at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday, February 22.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

George Bowring now runs the stores

Bowring, 58, of Sookholme Road, Mansfield, was also fined £25,000 and ordered to pay £40,000 in court costs, for the breaches which all occurred in 2019.

Mansfield District Council prosecuted Bowring after an investigation found Listeria monocytogenes present in cooked meat products and on food production equipment at the premises on High Street, Mansfield Woodhouse. Various unsafe food production practices were also observed.

Officers were told that a quantity of sliced cooked meat had been sold over the counter on the April 24 and 25, 2019, and that two care homes - Thistle Hill Hall, Mansfield Woodhouse, and Sherwood Grange, Edwinstowe, had been supplied with meat on April 24.

Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial infection which can cause a high temperature of 38C or above, aches and pains, chills, feeling sick or vomiting, and diarrhoea.

But in the elderly and vulnerable, it can lead to sepsis and possible death.

George Bowring, 29, said that he felt ‘terrible’ following the court ruling, but that he had worked tirelessly to turn the business around after taking over two years ago.

Their Worksop store was sold around 18-months ago, and the remaining stores now had either 4* or 5* food hygiene ratings.

He said: “It was three years ago – I’m the new owner and I’ve been working really hard to build the business back up. We’ve now lost the Mansfield Town order and I expect we will have lost other customers as well.

"It’s just so down-heartening because my dad stepped back from the business two years ago.”

He said that since taking over, Bowrings had been crowned Supreme Champion at the British Pie Awards, along with other accolades.

The court heard yesterday that one of the shops may have to be sold to pay off the fines and legal costs, but George said: “That would be the last option.

"My dad owns all the buildings, but if he had to sell, we’d hope to rent it back from the new owner to keep the store running

"Half the staff who worked for us at the time no longer work for us – we have new managers and a new owner and we are still being penalised. I just think to myself that this was three years ago – and we haven’t done anything wrong in those last three years, and I really hope people won’t stop coming to us because of something that happened a long time ago. A local business needs the support of local people.”