The company that runs a local Leeds shop has been prosecuted for selling out of date food.
Representatives of Winston Retail Limited, owners of Kasa, a convenience store and off licence on Dewsbury Road, failed to appear before Leeds magistrates last week.
The company was found guilty of knowingly selling cooked meats and dairy products that had gone beyond their use by date and not having procedures in place to manage food safely under Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
The company was fined a total of £2,200 for the two offences and ordered to pay costs of £1,515.78 and a victim surcharge of £120.
When environmental health officers inspected Kasa on 15 September 2015 they found 14 packets of cooked meats and three yogurts on the shelves, some of which should have been removed from sale six days previously.
The items had been labelled by the store as out of date and were being sold at reduced prices.
A product with a use by date cannot be sold after that date.
Use by dates are put on food items that can prove harmful if eaten after that date. People are advised to follow the storage instructions on use by products and not to eat food that has gone past its use by date. Even if food looks and smells fine, it can still cause illness.
Employees on the premises at the time and the store manager failed to provide any evidence of their food safety management system they are required to have by law.
To date the company has failed to responds to requests from environmental health officers to meet, discuss the case or answer any questions.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental protection and community safety, said:
“Although we’re not talking about massive quantities of food in this case, the rules are simple and clear. Use by dates are provided by producers to ensure people don’t get food poisoning. Anything that goes past those dates cannot be sold.
“If a person chooses to eat something that they have already bought which has gone past its use by date that is their choice. However, people should not be put at risk by businesses knowingly selling products that are out of date.”
Use by dates are intended to keep high risk foods such as cooked meats safe. Even when kept in a fridge, cooked meats could become unsafe as bacteria called listeria can grow at low temperatures.
Use by dates are intended make people aware if it is safe to eat food which differs from best before dates which relate to the quality of the food.
Leeds City Council regulates all food businesses in Leeds and environmental health officers regularly inspect restaurants, takeaways and shops to ensure they comply with strict food safety legislation.
The outcome of these inspections is a rating based on the Food Standard Agency’s national food hygiene rating scheme.
You can check ratings at http://ratings.food.gov.uk/.
Businesses can contact the food safety team at Leeds City Council for advice and residents can report any concerns on 0113 247 6286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.