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Shop's 'unsafe food' put customers at risk

A Boston shopkeeper who put customers' health at risk by offering 14 items of perishable food for sale that were past their use-by dates has been banned from trading and landed with a hefty financial penalty.

Boston Borough Council food hygiene inspectors found meat products displaying expired use-by dates on the shelves when they visited European Food and Wine in High Street, Boston, on May 17.

Yucel Atici appeared before Boston Magistrates on Monday, September 24, when he admitted offering for sale out-of-date food "which was not safe".

The out-of-date products were:

The court made a Hygiene Prohibition Order banning Mr Atici from operating a convenience store for the sale of food.

Magistrates heard there had been both formal and informal enforcement action taken against Mr Atici and fined him £500 with a £50 victim surcharge and ordered him to pay costs of £1,391.50. The company was fined £8,000 with a victim surcharge of £170.

Mr Atici has to apply to the court to have the prohibition removed and to satisfy the court that he is a proper person to operate as a food business operator. He cannot make an application for at least six months.

After the hearing Cllr Paul Skinner, Boston Borough Council's Portfolio Holder for Regulatory Services, said: "Despite ongoing formal engagement by our environmental health team, the food business operator put people at risk by offering out-of-date meat products for sale which is simply not acceptable.  Whilst we are not aware that anyone became ill from these products, such irresponsible behaviour significantly increases the opportunity to induce food-borne illness. Protecting the public by preventing such opportunity through regular inspection and proportionate enforcement is the key priority for our environmental health team."