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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Out of date cheeseburgers

A Bradford shop was found selling cheeseburgers that were nine days past their use-by date during a visit by Trading Standards.

Other out-of-date items on the shelves included breakfast muffins, turkey breast and honey roast ham.

On Thursday (13 April), magistrates ordered Bradford company Acme SL LTD and its director Syed Liaqat Ali Shah to pay thousands of pounds after they pleaded guilty to multiple food hygiene charges.

The case relates to a shop at 109-111 Ravenscliffe Avenue in the Ravenscliffe area of Bradford.

At the time of the offences in 2021, it was trading as a Best One store.

Trading Standards officers visited the shop on 21 July of that year and found 16 items of food for sale that were past their use by date.

Collectively this food was 109 days past its use by date.

Shah, of Marlborough Road, was not present at the time and officers sent a letter to him warning him about food hygiene laws.

On a follow up visit on 22 November, officers again found food that was past its use by date. In this instance there were 30 offending items of food, coming to a total of 149 days over the use by date.

Again, Shah was not present, and Trading Standards made the decision to charge him and the company in relation to the food found in the November visit.

On Thursday Shah pleaded guilty to five charges of failing to comply with EU hygiene regulations.

These were that his store stocked:

Three packs of turkey breast five days past their use by date

Four packs of honey roast ham eight days past their use by date

Three breakfast muffins eight days past their use by date

Four breakfast muffins three days past their use by date

Four Rustlers Cheeseburgers nine days past their use by date.

He also pleaded guilty to the same five charges on behalf of the company.

Mr Hallam, prosecuting on behalf of Trading Standards, told magistrates: “I don’t need to tell you the risks of selling out of date food.

“It is the shopkeeper that has the ultimate responsibility in cases like this.”

He pointed out that out of date food was found at the store on two different dates.

The court heard that Shah had not been working when the first visit took place, as he was suffering from Covid.

At the time of the second visit he was again taking time off work, this time due to a family medical issue.

The next most senior member of staff was also ill at the time.

Proper training had since been introduced, Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court was told.

The bench suggested that if there had not been enough staff to competently run the store, it should have been temporarily closed.

Acme SL LTD was ordered to pay a £3,000 fine and £1,000 costs.

Shah was given a £665 fine and ordered to pay £1,000 towards costs and a £67 surcharge.

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