On Monday 17th September 2018 at Leeds Magistrates Court, Kashmir Supermarket Ltd and one of its directors Mohammad Zahid Iqbal were fined a total of £15,000 plus £2,653.77 costs and a £340 victim surcharge having pleaded guilty to offences under the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013.
On 2nd June 2017 Trading Standards Officers visited Kashmir Supermarket, 257 Dewsbury Road, Leeds, following a complaint. During the visit a sample of 1kg of lamb mince was procured. Officers also found 23 food items past the use by date. Collectively these items were 374 days past their use by dates.
The sample of lamb mince was submitted to the Public Analyst for analysis of composition. The certificate of analysis from the Public Analyst stated that the lamb mince sample in fact contained lamb and 10% beef.
Kashmir Supermarket Ltd and Mr Iqbal had previously signed Cautions issued by the Trading Standards Service for supplying lamb mince which was a mixture of lamb and chicken and for making available for sale food past the use by date.
During a formal interview Mr Iqbal blamed the meat supervisor for not cleaning the mincer properly as beef may have remained from previous use. He stated that he now employs a dedicated member of staff to check all dairy product use by dates.
Businesses are reminded to ensure that they undertake regular checks on items bearing use by dates, invest in appropriate staff training and recording methods and ensure the consumer receives what they have requested.
David Lodge, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said “Monday’s result highlights the importance of all food businesses being diligent in meeting their legal responsibilities. Use by dates are placed on foods which are considered from a microbiological view, to be highly perishable and are therefore likely after a short period to constitute an immediate danger to human health. Consumers rightly expect to get what they pay for, this supermarket sold some beef which is a cheaper meat, when lamb was requested. Trading Standards will continue to take action against any businesses flouting the law.”
Councillor Jo Hepworth, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards said, “The work of Trading Standards plays an important role in Food Standards. Food past the use by date is automatically deemed unsafe by legislation and supplying food which was not requested by the consumer is an offence. Businesses must ensure the food they supply is safe and the food that has been requested by the consumer is supplied.”