By: Shubham Ghosh
A shopkeeper in Local Mini Market in Bradford has been slapped with a fine after he was caught trying to sell out-of-date food, including a sausage which went past its use-by date by more than five months.
It has been reported that during a routine inspection drive at the market in Thornton Lane in October 2021, officials from West Yorkshire Trading Standards found 12 items of food that were past the use-by date by 336 days together.
They found the sausage had a use-by date of May 5, along with garlic sausage, which was 49 days and beef which was 35 days past the use-by date, respectively.
Last week, former shopkeeper Karim Mohammed Omar Jaff pleaded guilty at a Magistrate’s Court to a number of food hygiene charges.
The 36-year-old was charged with four counts of failing to abide by EU laws over food safety and hygiene. He was also fined £207 and asked to make a contribution towards the prosecution cost (£640) and a surcharge (£34).
Prosecutor Harjit Ryatt called the items potentially hazardous for human health, AOL reported.
“During their visit, Trading Standards officers found a number of products that had been displayed for sale that were beyond their use-by date,” he was quoted as saying.
“Use-by dates are very important, especially with products deemed to be highly perishable. Products sold after that date are deemed to be potentially harmful to human health.
“Legislation on this issue is very strict – any food for sale past its use-by date can lead to enforcement.”
Defence lawyer Mo Hussain said it was common for people to argue whether food which was out of date could be consumed.
“We had a discussion in my house recently about how long after the use-by date was fine for us to eat a tin of beans,” he was quoted as saying.
“The problem is that some products sold outside the use-by date can be more dangerous than others.”
Chair of the bench Alison Roberts told Jaff, “We understand this was a very difficult time for you, but at the end of the day the risk to the public by these products being out of date is significant, particularly the meat products.
“One sausage was 155 days out of date – that is a very long period of time.”
Bradford Council prosecuted the case on Trading Standards’ behalf.
Trading standards manager David Strover was quoted as saying by ITV, “Businesses are reminded to ensure that they undertake regular checks on items bearing use by dates, invest in appropriate staff training and recording methods.
“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. Trading Standards will continue to take action against any businesses flouting the law.”
According to ITV, cllr Sue Duffy, deputy chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the Trading Standards’ work, said, “Food past the use by date cannot lawfully be sold, and retailers should make checks to ensure they do not offer for sale out of date food that is marked with a use by date.”
It was the second time in the last one year that Jaff made an appearance before the court.
Last July, he appeared at Bradford Crown Court after Trading Standards officials found in January 2021 a stash of counterfeit cigarettes worth £28,000 at his store.