Shop owner fined for selling out-of-date pies

Two men have been fined after they were caught selling pies past their sell-by-date at an convenience store.

A Trading Standards investigation found ‘unsafe’ food was being sold at discount prices at Lifestyle Express in Llanfairpwll.

The owners of the shop, Unistrat Ltd, were ordered to pay more than £3,100 by Caernarfon magistrates on Wednesday (15th January).

Officers, who were alerted by a customer complaint, visited the shop last August and found nine items on sale, all ranging from one to 15 days past their use by date.

Both the shop’s owner, Francis Mathew, and his manager, Prince Sebastian, were called to a meeting with Trading Standards officers, who warned them about the serious nature of the offence and advised them what needed to be done to avoid a re-occurrence.

But a month later, an officer returned to the shop and found a box of pies near the till.

When asked if they were for sale, Sebastian told him: ”…yes, but they’re out of date. I’ve just pulled them out of the chiller, they should be OK and are half price at £1 each.”

The officer brought three pies and was given a fourth free of charge – they were one day out-of-date. The court heard another pie from the same box was sold to another customer shortly afterwards.

Mathew, the director of Unistrat, admitted a charge of selling unsafe food and Sebastian, who was sacked shortly after the incident, pleaded guilty to providing misleading information about the pies.

The defence said the directors of Unistrat Ltd accepted responsibility for complying with food safety regulations and assisted with the investigation.

Sebastian said he had accepted responsibility for a ‘bad decision’ and had already been punished by losing his job.

The chair of the bench told the court there was a ”high level of culpability” in both cases because the two men went to the Trading Standards meeting and were advised how to prevent a similar offence.

Unistrat Ltd was ordered to pay a total of £3,127.74 in fines, costs and surcharges and Sebastian was told to pay a total of £513.

After sentencing, Les Pursglove, chief public protection officer for Anglesey Council, said: ”We welcome these convictions and warn that the sale of unsafe food will not be tolerated. Those failing to comply with legislation to protected consumers from such acts will be brought before the courts.”

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