Sour note for Pevensey dairy farmer who starred in movie but is now facing Food Standards Agency charge

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A Pevensey farmer faces charges of suppling raw milk to an up-market department store after a health agency investigation.

Stephen Hook is charged with breaches of food hygiene regulations alongside Selfridges Retail Limited.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is prosecuting Selfridges and Mr Hook following a lengthy investigation after vending machines dispensing the milk were installed at Selfridges in 2011.

They are both due to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court on February 6.

Mr Hook has been charged as ‘an occupier of a production holding’. Selfridges has been charged as ‘a person other than the occupier of a production holding or distributor’.

A statement from the FSA said: “The FSA will consider taking action where it has evidence that regulations have been breached.

“This case is not linked to the current review of rules governing the sale and marketing of unpasteurised, or raw, drinking milk and cream in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. “

Mr Hook was working with Dairy UK, the dairy farmers industry body, about producing a code of procedure for farmers who want to sell unpasteurised milk directly to customers.

He said: “I’m in court with Selfridges. They are going to fight the charge as well so both parties are glad we’ve not broken the law. This is a bit of a test case, it’s the first time anything like this has gone before courts.”

A Selfridges spokesman said: “We do not believe that we have committed any offence.”

Mr Hook jetted back from an international film festival this week to face the charges.

He starred in the Moo Man film, which narrowly missed out on a Sundance Film award.