Woman finds oven glove in Hovis loaf

The baker of Hovis bread was fined £750 after a woman in Northern Ireland found part of an oven glove baked into a slice, it was revealed today.

The victim toasted the white bread and had begun to eat it when she noticed the material.

The packet turned out to be full of shreds of the hessian-type cloth.

Chairman of Omagh Council Paddy Magowan said: "The very fact that they have been fined quite a substantial sum should send out a warning to all other companies to be on your best behaviour and to be very careful about your processes and manufacturing."

Herefordshire-based Hovis makers Premier Foods was prosecuted for selling food to the prejudice a purchaser at Omagh Magistrates' Court, Co Tyrone.

District Judge Greg McCourt imposed the fine on January 8 and ordered the company to pay court costs of £85 after it had earlier pleaded guilty.

The loaf had been bought from a local shop just before Christmas 2008. When the victim discovered the contamination she reported the matter to the environmental health section of the council.

Chief environmental health officer at the council Barny Heywood said: "Environmental Health Officers work with food businesses to provide advice on complying with food safety laws. However, when they fail to follow that advice, formal action must be considered."

A spokesman for Premier Foods said: "We go to great lengths to assure the quality of our great British brands but on this isolated occasion we have fallen short of our usual high standards and apologise for any distress caused to the customer."