20 October 2014

A shopkeeper from Northampton has been fined £4,500 after an investigation by Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service revealed he was selling out-of-date food products.

Following a consumer complaint, trading standards officers purchased three items that were past their use-by date, including a sausage roll which had visible traces of mould on it.

They also discovered a further 105 food items on the shelves for sale at the Nisa Local shop in Birchfield Road East, Northampton. A few days later an officer managed to purchase a further item past its use-by date.

The offences

Kulasingatharmarasa Nimalathasan, 36, of Greenfield Avenue, Northampton, admitted one charge relating to the sale of an out-of-date Muller Rice product during a hearing in June.

He was convicted of five further offences during a trial in September. The offences were committed in October 2013.

He had been advised about similar infringements on a number of previous occasions.

He was given a £2,000 fine for the offence relating to the mouldy sausage roll and fined a further £2,500 for offences relating to the105 out-of-date items during a hearing at Northampton Magistrates Court on Monday (20 October). He was also ordered to pay £1,655.90 in court costs.

Cllr André González de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “This is a good result for the council’s trading standards service. Consumers have a right to expect that any food items they buy are fit for consumption and in this case those basic standards were not being met.

“Public health is paramount, so we will take action against any business owner not abiding by the law in respect of food standards and will not hesitate to prosecute when appropriate.

“I would urge shopkeepers and staff to be to vigilant about the condition of food and products that they sell and ask anyone who has information about poor practice to inform Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.”