£10,000 fine after savoury filling found on sale 45 days past use by date

£10,000 fine after savoury filling found on sale 45 days past use by date


A Cardiff company and its director have been fined a total of £10,000 after a savoury filling was found on sale in one of their stores 45 days past its use by date.


The chicken mayonnaise filling was one of 12 items on sale at Bargain Booze, at 40 Tweedsmuir Road, Tremorfa, Cardiff, which were past their use by date when an inspector from Cardiff Council visited the store in June last year.


The other items included black pudding 22 days past its use by date, dough balls and garlic dip 12 days past their use by date and unsmoked bacon 10 days past its use by date.


Gurnham and Sons Ltd, which runs three Bargain Booze stores in South Wales, and its director Gurpreet Randhawa were fined when Mr Randhawa appeared at Cardiff Magistrates' Court on Thursday, July 12.


Mr Randhawa had previously pleaded guilty to exposing for sale food goods that were out of date contrary to Regulation 4 of the General Food Regulations 2004.


Prosecution papers submitted to the court revealed that in June 2016, a complaint was made to the Council by a shopper who had bought a chicken and mayonnaise sandwich from Bargain Booze at 40 Tweedsmuir Road and alleged he became unwell immediately after eating part of the sandwich.


When he looked at the packaging, he noticed the sandwich was three days past its use by date.


Cardiff Council began an investigation and the prosecution papers detailed how an officer found 12 items past their use by date.


During an interview under caution, it was discovered Mr Randhawa did not have an effective food management system in place to make sure checks for use by dates were being carried out.


He said in his interview that he had told staff to carry out checks but could not demonstrate training had taken place or that training was effective.


There were no written policies or monitoring procedures to show that ‘use by' checks were being carried out.


He said he had given verbal training but was not able to produce training records.


Mr Randhawa, from Station Road, Llandaff North, Cardiff, said he visited the Tweedsmuir Road shop every few days but failed to notice the savoury filling had been on display for at least 45 days or that the use by date on the black pudding had expired in the previous 22 days.


In mitigation, Kate Lane, for Gurnham and Sons Ltd and Mr Randhawa, said Mr Randhawa realised the severity of the offence and had put in a huge amount of effort since to rectify the problem.

She said Cardiff Council had made two visits to the Tremorfa store since the offence and no further complaints had been made.

Miss Lane said Mr Randhawa had replaced all the staff at the store.

She said: "The new manager is extremely competent and a training scheme is now in place with daily checks. Mr Randhawa is confident the shortfalls have been remedied."

When a Cardiff Council officer revisited the Tweedsmuir Road store in June this year, all food on display was within date and the chilled and fresh food stock was much reduced.

Neither Gurnham and Sons Ltd or Mr Randhawa had any previous convictions.

At Cardiff Magistrates' Court on Thursday, July 13, District Judge Bodfin Jenkins fined Gurnham and Sons Limited £9,000 and ordered them to pay costs of £150.

He also fined Mr Randhawa £1,000, with costs of £150.

Mr Randhawa was also ordered to pay the complainant compensation of £200.

Following the case, Cllr Michael Michael, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment at Cardiff Council, said: "The fines imposed in the magistrates' court in this case should leave people in no doubt that safety of the public is paramount.

"They should send a clear message that firm action will be taken wherever necessary to safeguard the health and safety of the public."