The firm, based in Whittlesey, near Peterborough, was prosecuted for safety failings by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The accident happened when a 34-year-old employee, who asked to remain anonymous, was trying to check the condition of the head roller on a bypass conveyor, Peterborough Crown Court was told.
While checking the conveyor on August 21 2014, his arm became entangled in the machinery. The arm was almost severed but emergency teams managed to save it.
However the man now had limited movement in his hand. An investigation by the HSE revealed that the conveyor did not have the correct guards fitted.
‘Failed to recognise the danger’
According to an HSE statement: “A risk assessment of the machine by the company failed to recognise the danger.”
McCain Foods (GB) Ltd of Havers Hill, Eastfield Scarborough, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 11(1) of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998 and Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was fined £800,000 with costs of £12,831.51.
A spokesman for the firm told FoodManufacture.co.uk: “As a responsible food manufacturer, McCain Foods (GB) Ltd takes all matters of health and safety extremely seriously.
“Regrettably, an engineer was injured in the incident in the course of an inspection of a conveyor, but has since recovered and returned to work with McCain. The company has, at all times, taken the matter extremely seriously.
‘Health and safety improvement’
“Ensuring the safety of employees is paramount and the court recognised that McCain Foods is dedicated to continuous health and safety improvement as part of its strict operational procedures.”
HSE advice on preventing manufacturing accidents involving machinery can be found here.
Meanwhile, last month a food packaging supplier was fined £240k after an employee was seriously injured when his arm was caught in a laminating machine.
The worker was trying to resolve a problem with the laminating machine at Selig’s factory in Slough, Berkshire on October 15 2013 when his arm became trapped between two rollers.
The man suffered fractures to his upper and lower left arm, as well as significant muscle and nerve damage.
An investigation by the HSE revealed that Selig had failed to conduct a suitable risk assessment for the laminating machine.