TESCO Stores Limited has been fined £7.5million at Birmingham Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to selling food which was past its ‘use by’ date in three of its Birmingham stores.
Birmingham City Council brought the prosecution under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013 after inspections by Environmental Health officers found stores in Bournville, Rubery and the city centre, selling out of date food on several occasions.
Tesco Stores Ltd – which has its Registered Office in Tesco House, Shire Park, Kestrel Way Welwyn Garden City – pleaded guilty to a total of 22 offences across the three stores, which totalled 67 separate items, at Birmingham Magistrates Court on 21 September 2020.
The supermarket chain was ordered to pay a fine of £7,560,000 and £95,500 costs, as well as a £170 victim surcharge.
The first incident was at Tesco Express, 165 Linden Road, Bournville, which officers visited in June 2015 after receiving a complaint from a member of the public – and found six items on display beyond their use by date.
Following discussions between the city council and Tesco, officers were invited back to do another check on April 12, 2016 – when officers found various items on display including own-brand pizza, doughballs, soup, pork belly slices, potato salad, trifle and flavoured milk, out of date for between 17, four, three two and one days.
Environmental health officers received a separate complaint on May 25, 2017 and visited the Tesco Metro store in Rubery on June 1, 2017, where they found 25 items displayed for sale beyond their ‘use by’ date – including own-brand scotch eggs, Quiche Lorraine, and Little Dish (children’s meals) Chicken and Veg Risotto and Pasta Bolognaise.
On visiting the third store – Tesco Express in Carrs Lane, in the city centre – on June 2, 2017, own-brand falafel and houmous Wraps, grapes and strawberries, and Berry Medley pots were on display past their ‘use by’ date – with grapes having visible mould.