An abattoir which supplies meat to high street stores was ordered to pay more than £33,000 today for pumping too much waste into a waterway.
The Chitty Food Group released the waste from its Surrey abattoir, including chemicals, fat and other animal material, at up to seven times the concentration stipulated.
It admitted 10 breaches of trade effluent regulations and one charge of failing to use proper equipment at Guildford Magistrates' Court today after being prosecuted by Thames Water.
The firm was fined a total of £27,680, and ordered to pay £5,641.67 to cover legal and investigation costs.
The Chitty Food Group sells organic beef to Marks and Spencer, and supplies other supermarkets.
The family-run company has been hit hard by the recession, the court heard. It has closed its plant in Basildon, Essex, and imposed a 7.5 per cent pay cut on its staff.
Neither company secretary Mary Jenner nor utilities manager Ian Renauld, who were in court today, commented as they left the building.