Grimsby shop owner fined for food use by date offences
A Grimsby shop owner found himself in court for selling food including scotch eggs, sandwiches and ready meals past their use by date.
Bhupendra Patel, owner of Premier Extra in Wellington Street, Grimsby, was left with a court bill of almost £2,000 for two offences under the Food Safety and Hygiene Act.
Trading Standards officers visited the shop on 27 January 2016 after a complaint was made about the sale of out of date food.
They found nine items on sale that were past their use by date, including some that were five days beyond the limit.
Patel pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court to offering for sale the two most out of date products, a pack of hot and spicy meatballs and a gammon joint and the remaining seven offences were taken into consideration.
The court took into account his guilty pleas, but also noted that he had a history for similar matters going back to 2007 and had been convicted in 2013 of two similar offences.
Patel was fined £750 for each of the two offences and ordered to pay costs of £400 plus a victim surcharge of £70. An order was also made for the destruction of the seized food products.
Cllr Matt Patrick, portfolio holder for Finance, Resources and Inclusion at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Our council’s regulatory services work hard to give food business operators the direction and information they need to comply with food safety legislation.
“We need to protect consumers from businesses who flout the law and put people’s health at risk.”
Trading Standards manager Neil Clark added: “I hope the outcome of this court hearing shows local businesses that if you fail to follow the advice offered and continue to put people at risk, you will be prosecuted again and again.
“In this case, the business failed to heed previous warnings and a conviction back in 2013, which has led to a few pounds worth of food for sale in a chiller cabinet costing the business almost £2,000 in fines and charges.
“Quite simply, if the business had a proper system of control in place at the premises this would likely not to have happened.“