Derbyshire shop owner fined for selling food past sell by date- including raw meat

A North East Derbyshire food business owner has been slapped with costs of £1,129 after selling food items past their use by date- including raw meats.

Mr M Vijayathas, owner of Birkhill Stores in Eckington, pleaded guilty to the offence at Northern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court on July 29.

The business had already been given a food safety hygiene rating of one by inspectors.

The business had already been given a food safety hygiene rating of one by inspectors.

Officers from North East Derbyshire District Council visited the shop in May and inspected the food contained within the refrigerators.

They found a number of food items were passed their use by date, including raw meats and ‘ready to eat’ foods.

The food items were immediately seized by the officer.

During the inspection, an employee asked the officer if the food items could be thrown away without the need for formal action- or if the officer could alter the date they were putting on formal documents.

The premises have been subject to two previous inspections within the last two years, which resulted in the food safety hygiene rating being reduced to one and a warning letter sent with regards to out of date food items.

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Mr Vijayathas stated in mitigation that his employee had failed to follow procedures.

The court imposed a Band D fine to reflect the ‘seriousness’ of the offence.

The defendant was fined £826, reduced from £1,240 for his guilty plea, plus a victim Surcharge of £82 and court costs of £221.37, giving a total of £1129.37.

Councillor Charlotte Cupit, cabinet member for the Environment for North East Derbyshire District Council said: “We have a zero tolerance policy on businesses who fail to comply with food safety regulations.

“The fact the premises had previously been inspected shows the disregard of the business owner and has duly been punished. “We as a council actively inspect the businesses in the District to ensure our high standards are met.

“Food safety is an important issue and this prosecution is a clear message that poor hygiene standards and practises will not be tolerated and we aim to tackle and educate the owners at the source.”

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