10:21AM, Thursday 30 August 2018
A shopkeeper who was selling food up to 24 days out of date has been fined thousands of pounds by the council.
Manmeet Singh Handa, trading as Chalvey Food and Wine in Chalvey Road East, appeared before Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday, August 17.
The 48-year-old pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing, for sale, more than 30 items that exceeded their use-by date on two separate occasions.
He was fined £2,670 and ordered to pay costs of £3,111.28.
In a routine inspection in July 2017, the council found 28 out of date food items for sale, and at a follow up inspection in September the council uncovered four items that exceeded their use-by-dates including meat, pastry, cheese and pizza.
The food items ranged from one to 24 days out of date.
An additional inspection in October 2017 found two more items that were four days out of date.
Councillor Pavitar K Mann (Lab, Britwell and Northborough), cabinet member for regulation and consumer protection, said: “Use-by dates are in place to protect consumers from harm and disregarding them can have serious health implications.
“Chalvey Food and Wine failed the public who trusted them to provide safe food products, not once, but on at least three separate occasions.
“These repeated breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations meant we had no other choice but to pursue the store through the courts.
“We take the safety of consumers very seriously and won’t hesitate to prosecute food businesses who flout the law and endanger the health of our residents.”
Food that has passed its used-by date has a higher risk of causing illness and is illegal to sell or possess to sell.
Use-by dates are different to best before dates which are about quality, not safety.
All the food that was seized was destroyed on Wednesday.
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