Chocolate firm fined over finger accident

A Northamptonshire chocolate maker has been fined after an employee’s finger was severed in an inadequately guarded machine.

Kettering magistrates heard that Joao Countinho was cleaning a depositor - which pipes liquid chocolate into moulds – at Ashbury Chocolates in February last year.

His left index finger became trapped and was partially severed. It had to be fully amputated later in hospital.

Mr Countinho, 41, of Peterborough, was off work for around three months although he has since returned to the factory doing the same job.

A Health and Safety Executive investigation found the machine was only partially guarded .

Ashbury Chocolates of Darwin Road, Corby, pleaded guilty and was fined £5,000 and ordered to pay costs of £3,485.