Supermarket giant Tesco received a whopping £7.56million fine and a stern talking to by a magistrate after it admitted selling out of date food in three of its stores.
The grocery giant was handed the penalty by a judge at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday and further ordered to pay prosecution costs of £95,500, Birmingham City Council has revealed.
The supermarket firm was also ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge.
The whopping fine – the equivalent of more than 2.5million of the chain's meal deals – was handed down after Tesco Stores Ltd admitted 22 breaches of the Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations, which happened between 2016 and 2017.
The prosecution by the city council’s environmental health department came about after complaints were received by the local authority about food being sold when past its use-by date, triggering an investigation.
Food inspectors visited three of the company’s city food retail premises, in all.
Offending items were discovered at two Tesco Express stores, one in Carr’s Lane in the city centre the other at 175 Linden Road, in Birmingham’s Bournville area, and a Tesco Metro in Bristol Road South, which has since been re-branded under Tesco’s discount chain, Jack’s.
Tesco said it was “disappointed” that out-of-date products got onto the shelves adding it took “immediate action” to rectify the problems, while adding it had “robust procedures” in place to ensure there is no repeat.
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Date-checking at the grocer’s stores is now externally approved by Hertfordshire County Council because the company’s Welwyn Garden City head office is located in that local authority’s area.
A Tesco spokesman said: “We’re disappointed that a small number of out-of-date products were found on sale in three stores in 2016/17.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 we expect in Tesco stores.
“We took immediate action to address this at the time and we want to reassure our customers that we have robust procedures in place to make sure that this doesn’t happen.”
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