A SHOPKEEPER will have to pay over £3,000 after admitting to stocking out of date food, including smoked sausage and stuffed cabbage leaves.

Haiman Hassan, who runs ZK Foods on Legrams Lane, appeared in Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court on Tuesday, charged with a number of food hygiene offences.

They relate to an incident in January when Trading Standards officers visited the store and found numerous items of food were for sale despite being far past their use by date.

Twenty one items of food were out of date - and the court heard that in total these food items were 333 days past the suggested use by date.

Hassan, 43, admitted to seven charges of failing to comply with EU food hygiene rules.

He was fined £1,000 and will have to pay an additional £2,035 costs and a surcharge of £100.

The out of date food included cooked poultry, numerous sausages and stuffed cabbage leaves.

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Aneeka Sarwar, prosecuting, said: “On January 20 officers went to visit ZK Food Store. When they arrived they found 21 food items in a chiller on the shop floor and accessible to customers that were past their use by date.

“These 21 food items added up to 333 days past the use by date.

“The defendant was interviewed and said he was the owner of the business.”

She said his food safety record had not been kept up to date.

Tahir Ayub, representing Hassan, said: “When he was interviewed by Trading Standards he explained it was an oversight on his part. He knows the system needs to be in place to make sure there is no danger to the public.

“He is very sorry to any person who he has inconvenienced or troubled by the goods on sale, although thankfully there have been no complaints.”

The court heard that Hassan had come to the country from Iraq 19 years ago, and had worked hard since then. He was going through “personal difficulties” at the time of the visit.

He had worked to make the shop a success and invested whatever savings he had into the business.

Mr Ayub said at the time of the visit another member of staff had been responsible for stocking the food, although Magistrates were told Hassan was willing to take full responsibility.

He added: “This was not a deliberate attempt to flout legislation, simply an oversight. He is a hardworking individual, so it is a shame to see him in this position.”

The court heard that due to the Covid pandemic he was struggling to keep the business going, and questioned whether he could have been dealt with with a “stern warning” rather than a court prosecution.

Mrs Sarwar said: “These are serious offences, and this is the course we normally take with such offences.”

After the case David Strover, Trading Standards Manager - Businesses Compliance Team at West Yorkshire Trading Standards said, “This case highlights the importance of all food businesses being diligent in meeting their legal responsibilities. 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.”

Councillor Sue Duffy, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards said, “Bradford residents are entitled to expect safe and “in date” food. Food past the use by date is automatically deemed unsafe by legislation. Businesses must ensure the food they supply is safe, appropriately labelled and not past its use by date.”