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Local convenience store fined over £10,000 for out of date food sales

  • Categories : Press Release
  • 06 Dec 2023
Nisa Brecon Road

The company running a local convenience store has been convicted of selling out of date food products following an inspection carried out by Environmental Health Officers from Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

Kaila & Son Ltd, running a grocery shop trading as Nisa Local, 3-4 Vulcan Buildings, Brecon Road, Merthyr Tydfil, was convicted at Merthyr Tydfil Magistrates' Court on 23 November 2023 after the company’s Director, Udam Singh, pleaded guilty to the sale of unsafe food, contrary to Regulation 4 of The General Food Regulations 2004. The company was fined £15,000, reduced to £10,000 for early guilty plea, and ordered to pay £543.20 costs and a victim surcharge of £2,000 making a sum total of £12,543.20.

A packet of Roast Chicken Breast was found to be past its use by date of 08th January 2023 when purchased on 10th January 2023 by an Environmental Health Officer during a routine food microbiological sampling visit .  The sample was determined by the laboratory to be of unsatisfactory microbiological quality.

As a result, a follow up visit to the store by 2 Officers from the Council’s Environmental Health Team uncovered a variety of 27 items of food past their use by date, including a chicken meat product 9 days past its date.

Food that is past its 'use by' date, as opposed to 'best before', is deemed unsafe in law and it is illegal for those items to be sold, anyone doing so is committing a criminal act. The foods that were out of date at the Nisa Local were mainly meat products. Mrs Jasvir Kaur, joint Director of Kaila & Son Ltd, had previously been formally cautioned in December 2021 by the Environmental Health Department in relation to the sale of food past its use by date and was advised at that time regarding taking precautions around conducting daily checks on food that they were selling.

All of the products that had exceeded their use by date were taken from the premises by the inspecting Officers.   It was clear to Officers that the business was not carrying out daily stock rotation checks of high risk foods to ensure that they were not sold beyond the use by date. Mrs Kaur blamed her staff for not disposing of the food but it was explained that as the food business operator it is her responsibility to ensure food safety management procedures are implemented.

Councillor Michelle Symonds, Portfolio Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Housing and Public Protection said “Without the Environmental Health Officers’ intervention, out of date food could have unknowingly been consumed by customers and potentially result in them having a foodborne illness. Robust stock rotation systems are vital in all food businesses to ensure that foods are not sold beyond their use by date to protect public health.

"I hope this prosecution will send a clear message to any organisation selling food that the wellbeing of the public must be at the heart of what they do. High standards need to be maintained and the law abided by.”

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