Business owner fined over £17,000 for food hygiene offences

Environmental health

26 October 2023

Box of food

A former business owner has pleaded guilty to 11 offences, fined £17,274 and banned from operating a food business in future after North Northamptonshire Council Officers carried out routine inspections and removed from sale, across a 10-month period, 182 items of unsafe foods weighing over 120kg.

At Wellingborough Magistrates Court on 24 October 2023 Mr Kadim Majeedi of 2 Northborough Avenue, Stafford pleaded guilty to 11 offences and the Prohibition Order was granted, preventing him from owning or managing a food business. Fines were granted for each of the offences, a victim surcharge and legal costs for NNC were awarded totalling £17,274 to be paid by Mr Majeedi at a rate of £500 per month.

Mr Majeedi previously operated an Eastern European shop named Torba in Montagu Street, Kettering (since early 2023, the shop has been under new management and operates under a different name) and in January 2022, Officers visited the premises and questioned the staff about multiple items of unlabelled food on the chilled delicatessen counter. Staff were unsure when the food had been unwrapped or unpacked and concerns were raised directly with Mr Majeedi, who agreed to dispose of the food (weighing approximately 40kg).

Due to the poor standard found during the inspection, the premises were put on a 6-month interval for further inspection and in August 2022, a further visit was carried out. Once again, many unlabelled items were noted, and staff could not answer basic questions about the safety of the food. Staff removed several bin liners of food from the shop floor behind where officers were stood. They were stopped and the contents examined. There were 116 items of out-of-date food (including ready-to-eat meats, cheeses and dairy products) weighing a total of 82kg.

Officers found that several breaches of food hygiene requirements from previous inspections hadn’t been rectified, including staff training and implementation of a documented food safety management system, including appropriate monitoring checks. Hygiene Improvement Notices were served requiring the company to rectify these points, along with several other matters.

In September 2022, the business was revisited and it was confirmed that two notices were not being complied with and food, which should have been chilled, was displayed at room temperature. A further visit in October 2022 found items displayed past their use-by date, unlabelled food on the chilled delicatessen and further food items which were not being kept in line with manufacturer’s instructions.

Due to the number of occurrences and volume of items removed from sale, Mr Majeedi was interviewed under caution and the decision made to prosecute for these offences as well as an application made to the Magistrates Court to prohibit Mr Majeedi from owning or managing a food business.

This is truly a shocking case and the size of the fine demonstrates the severity of the offences.

There is legislation in place for a reason - to protect customers and they should be able to have the confidence that the food they are purchasing is safe and has been stored in an appropriate way.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Officers involved in this case whose work has prevented this individual from managing or owning a food business in future.
Cllr David Brackenbury, the council’s Executive Member for Growth and Regeneration, which covers Environmental Health
Our officers work tirelessly conducting inspections to ensure that premises are complying with the required regulations. We take a strict approach in cases like this in line with NNC’s enforcement policy and, as shown, will send cases to court, if necessary.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council

Mr Majeedi has since sold the business and it is under new ownership from the beginning of 2023.