A supermarket in Hunslet has been fined nearly £18,000 for food fraud and selling out of date products.
Kashmir Supermarket Ltd, on Dewsbury Road, and one of its directors, Mohammed Zahid Iqbal, pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates’ Court this week to offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013.
It came after trading standards officers visited the store in June last year, following a complaint, and found a 1kg sample of lamb actually contained 10 per cent beef as well as 23 food items past their use-by date.
Collectively these items added up to over a year - 374 days - past their use by dates.
Both the supermarket and Mr Iqbal had been cautioned before for the same offences.
During a formal interview, Mr Iqbal blamed a meat supervisor for not cleaning the mincer properly and said he now employs a dedicated member of staff to check all dairy products’ use-by dates.
The supermarket and Mr Iqbal were fined a total of £15,000 plus £2,653 costs and a £340 victim surcharge.
David Lodge, head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said “Use by dates are placed on foods which are considered from a microbiological view, to be highly perishable and are therefore likely after a short period to constitute an immediate danger to human health. Consumers rightly expect to get what they pay for, this supermarket sold some beef which is a cheaper meat, when lamb was requested. Trading Standards will continue to take action against any businesses flouting the law.”
Councillor Jo Hepworth, chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards said, “The work of Trading Standards plays an important role in Food Standards. Food past the use by date is automatically deemed unsafe by legislation and supplying food which was not requested by the consumer is an offence. Businesses must ensure the food they supply is safe and the food that has been requested by the consumer is supplied.”