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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Man in court again over food hygiene charges

A man has been ordered by a court to pay over £2,000 after dozens of chilled food items in his shop, including meats, were found to be past their use by date.

Ballen Mohammad Zarar was the director of Euro Market on Great Horton Road during two inspections by food standards officers in late 2022.

Over the course of these two inspections, officers found 70 items of food on shelves that were past their legal use by date.

One item was 17 days out of date.

Zarar, of Roundwood Avenue, appeared at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates on Thursday, pleading guilty to two counts of failing to comply with EU food safety provisions.

He is no longer involved in the business.

It was the second time Zarar has appeared in court in recent years for food safety issues.

In November 2022 he was sentenced after admitting a string of food safety charges that related to an inspection the previous year, where mouldy meat and items up to 51 days past their use by date were found to be on sale at the store.

Thursday’s court appearance relates to inspections on 11 October 2022 and 14 November 2022.

Magistrates were told that the store had a “poor track record” for food hygiene, and during the October visit Council officers found 41 chilled items of food past their use by date.

One item was 17 days out of date.

The store was revisited on 14 November , with every food product in the store checked.

24 chilled food items were found to be out of date, with the oldest being 12 days past its use by date.

The court heard that Zarar was sentenced for the 2021 charges that same month, and was fined £1,107, and ordered to pay £3,265 in costs and a £111 surcharge.

Mr Ali, defending Zarar when he appeared to answer the more recent charges, said: “The defendant feels this prosecution is unfair.”

He questioned why the charges were not all tied up in a single prosecution – pointing out that the first prosecution happened after the two inspections that led to Thursday’s sentencing.

Mr Ali said Zarar had since walked away from the food business, and had no intention of returning.

He described the previous fine as “crippling” and said: “It has bankrupted him.”

Zarar currently earns £70 a week as a carer.

He would willingly sign a notice preventing him from running a food business in the future – magistrates were told.

Magistrates fined Zarar £320 and ordered him to pay £1,745 costs and a £128 surcharge.

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