Scottish Newspaper Prevails in Lawsuit Filed by Trump Golf Resort over Reporting on Food Hygiene Failure

The Trump Estate in Balmedie is a prominent location that exudes luxury and grandeur. (Andrew Milligan/PA Wire URN:45603954 (Press Association via AP Images))

Former President Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort in Scotland filed a complaint against The Scotsman newspaper regarding two articles that highlighted the property’s inability to pass food hygiene inspections. However, the complaint was ultimately dismissed by the UK’s largest press watchdog.

Last September, an article exposed the shortcomings of Trump International Golf Links during a national food hygiene inspection. The inspection revealed several violations, such as unclean chopping boards, improper handwashing practices by the staff, and the use of sausage meat that was three months past its expiry date.

In a lighthearted follow-up article titled “Bringing Back Greatness to Trump Resort Restaurant,” the author pokes fun at the irony of a business owned by a self-professed germophobe facing food safety concerns.

Trump International has lodged a complaint with the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), alleging that the articles generated a misleading impression of the resort’s current safety standards and ongoing issues for consumers.

The company argued that it had addressed the problems and successfully cleared an inspection in March 2023. This crucial detail was overlooked in The Scotsman’s report. The newspaper had obtained its information from an old council website, but they acknowledged and rectified their mistake after receiving a complaint.

IPSO has ruled that “The Scotsman” took appropriate measures to verify the facts, including conducting freedom of information requests and directly communicating with the council.

Upon investigation, the watchdog determined that the articles had exercised caution in their reporting and that the publication had promptly addressed the newly verified information. As a result, the watchdog deemed a correction to be sufficient, rather than the initially requested apology.

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MBS Staff
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