Tesco stores have been fined £ 7.56million by a judge for selling expired food at three of its stores.
Britain’s largest grocer was sentenced on Monday at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court after admitting 22 breaches of food safety and hygiene regulations at branches in the Midlands.
The supermarket has also been ordered to pay prosecution costs of £ 95,500, Birmingham City Council has said. An additional victim surcharge of £ 170 has been added to the liability.
The city council’s environmental health department said the charges were initiated after complaints about the sale of food after the use-by date.
The investigation revealed that a significant number of products had been marketed between 2016 and 2017, reports The Mirror.
Food safety inspectors said items were discovered at two Tesco Express stores in the city center and the Bournville area, and at a Tesco metro in Bristol Road South, which has since been renamed under the chain of discount Tesco, Jack’s.
Tesco said it had taken “immediate action” to correct the problems and had “strong procedures” in place to ensure there was no duplication.
Date control in grocery stores is now approved by Hertfordshire County Council as the head office of Welwyn Garden City is located within that local authority area.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are disappointed that a small number of obsolete products were found for sale in three stores in 2016/17.
“The safety of our customers is always our priority and these incidents are not representative of the high standards of safety and quality that we expect in Tesco stores.
“We took immediate action to resolve this issue at this time and we want to reassure our customers that we have strong procedures in place to ensure this does not happen.”
All UK supermarket chains are to impose mandatory ‘use before’ labels on foods such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products that pose a safety risk if consumed after this date.
However, “best before” dates are generally only offered as a guide.